(“Compatibilism” referring to the idea that the existence of free will is compatible with a deterministic universe)
Choice…is a mechanical process compatible with determinism… The objection “The agent didn’t really make a choice, because the outcome was already predetermined” is as much a non sequitur as the objection “The motor didn’t really exert force, because the outcome was already predetermined.”
That’s Gary Drescher (who I assume is this Gary Drescher?) cited in a recent discussion on free will by Ian Pollack. I’ve never come down one way or another on compatibilism, incompatibilism, etc, and I don’t think this quote “proves” anything. But it struck me as a particularly clear version of what I think the basic argument for compatibilism boils down to.