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The term agency may be simply defined as the capacity or ability of human beings to make choices. Agency is not the same as free will, which means that human beings are not only free to make choices but also free to act on their choices apart from outside influences. Agency acknowledges that although human beings are free to choose their actions, there are constraints on their actions. These constraints are the result of direct cause-and-effect relationships limiting choice as well as social, moral, religious, or circumstantial factors.

The doctrine of free will states that human beings are entirely free to choose any course of action. Agency states that although we are free to make our choices, we cannot choose our choices. This, in turn, differs ...

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