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  1. Jesus Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (eds.) (2009). Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.
  2. Christian Barry, Matthew Lindauer & Gerhard Øverland (forthcoming). Doing, Allowing, and Enabling Harm: An Empirical Investigation. In Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Traditionally, moral philosophers have distinguished between doing and allowing harm, and have normally proceeded as if this bipartite distinction can exhaustively characterize all cases of human conduct involving harm. By contrast, cognitive scientists and psychologists studying causal judgment have investigated the concept ‘enable’ as distinct from the concept ‘cause’ and other causal terms. Empirical work on ‘enable’ and its employment has generally not focused on cases where human agents enable harm. In this paper, we present new empirical evidence to support (...)
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  3. James R. Beebe & Mark Jensen (2012). Surprising Connections Between Knowledge and Action: The Robustness of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):689 - 715.
    A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. (...)
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  4. Christine Clavien, Colby Tanner, Fabrice Clément & Michel Chapuisat (2012). Choosy Moral Punishers. PLoS ONE.
    The punishment of social misconduct is a powerful mechanism for stabilizing high levels of cooperation among unrelated individuals. It is regularly assumed that humans have a universal disposition to punish social norm violators, which is sometimes labelled “universal structure of human morality” or “pure aversion to social betrayal”. Here we present evidence that, contrary to this hypothesis, the propensity to punish a moral norm violator varies among participants with different career trajectories. In anonymous real-life conditions, future teachers punished a talented (...)
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  5. Frank Hindriks (2014). Normativity in Action: How to Explain the Knobe Effect and its Relatives. Mind and Language 29 (1):51-72.
    Intuitions about intentional action have turned out to be sensitive to normative factors: most people say that an indifferent agent brings about an effect of her action intentionally when it is harmful, but unintentionally when it is beneficial. Joshua Knobe explains this asymmetry, which is known as ‘the Knobe effect’, in terms of the moral valence of the effect, arguing that this explanation generalizes to other asymmetries concerning notions as diverse as deciding and being free. I present an alternative explanation (...)
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  6. Joshua Knobe (2010). Action Trees and Moral Judgment. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):555-578.
    It has sometimes been suggested that people represent the structure of action in terms of an action tree. A question now arises about the relationship between this action tree representation and people’s moral judgments. A natural hypothesis would be that people first construct a representation of the action tree and then go on to use this representation in making moral judgments. The present paper argues for a more complex view. Specifically, the paper reports a series of experimental studies that appear (...)
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  7. John Michael McGuire (2012). Side-Effect Actions, Acting for a Reason, and Acting Intentionally. Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):317 - 333.
    What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and explain certain (...)
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  8. Shaun Nichols & Joseph Ulatowski (2007). Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited. Mind and Language 22 (4):346–365.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe indicates that people’s intuition about whether an action was intentional depends on whether the outcome is good or bad. This paper argues that part of the explanation for this effect is that there are stable individual differences in how ‘intentional’ is interpreted. That is, in Knobe’s cases, different people interpret the term in different ways. This interpretive diversity of ‘intentional’ opens up a new avenue to help explain Knobe’s results. Furthermore, the paper argues that the (...)
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  9. Jonathan Phillips & Liane Young (2011). Apparent Paradoxes in Moral Reasoning; Or How You Forced Him to Do It, Even Though He Wasn’T Forced to Do It. Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society:138-143.
    The importance of situational constraint for moral evaluations is widely accepted in philosophy, psychology, and the law. However, recent work suggests that this relationship is actually bidirectional: moral evaluations can also influence our judgments of situational constraint. For example, if an agent is thought to have acted immorally rather than morally, that agent is often judged to have acted with greater freedom and under less situational constraint. Moreover, when considering interpersonal situations, we judge that an agent who forces another to (...)
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  10. Charles Pigden (2009). A Niggle at Nagel: Causally Active Desires and the Explanation of Action. In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 220--40.
    This paper criticizes an influential argument from Thomas Nagel’s THE POSSIBILTIY OF ALTRUISM, an argument that plays a foundational role in the philosophies of (at least) Philippa Foot, John McDowell and Jonathan Dancy. Nagel purports to prove that a person can be can be motivated to perform X by the belief that X is likely to bring about Y, without a causally active or biffy desire for Y. If Cullity and Gaut are to be believed (ETHICS AND PRACTICAL REASONING) this (...)
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  11. Brent Strickland, Matt Fisher & Joshua Knobe (2012). Moral Structure Falls Out of General Event Structure. Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):198-205.
    The notion of agency has been explored within research in moral psychology and, quite separately, within research in linguistics. Moral psychologists have suggested that agency attributions play a role in moral judgments, while linguists have argued that agency attributions play a role in syntactic intuitions. -/- To explore the connection between these two lines of research, we report the results of an experiment in which we manipulate syntactic cues for agency and show a corresponding impact on moral judgments. This result (...)
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  12. Joseph Ulatowski (2012). Act Individuation: An Experimental Approach. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):249-262.
    Accounts of act individuation have attempted to capture peoples’ pre-theoretic intuitions. Donald Davidson has argued that a multitude of action descriptions designate only one act, while Alvin Goldman has averred that each action description refers to a distinct act. Following on recent empirical studies, I subject these accounts of act individuation to experimentation. The data indicate that people distinguish between actions differently depending upon the moral valence of the outcomes. Thus, the assumption that a single account of act individuation applies (...)
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  13. Liane Young & Jonathan Phillips (2011). The Paradox of Moral Focus. Cognition 119 (2):166-178.
    When we evaluate moral agents, we consider many factors, including whether the agent acted freely, or under duress or coercion. In turn, moral evaluations have been shown to influence our (non-moral) evaluations of these same factors. For example, when we judge an agent to have acted immorally, we are subsequently more likely to judge the agent to have acted freely, not under force. Here, we investigate the cognitive signatures of this effect in interpersonal situations, in which one agent (“forcer”) forces (...)
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