Can Unintended Side Effects be Intentional? Resolving a Controversy Over Intentionality and Morality
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36:1635-1647 (2010)
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments. Studies 1 through 4 show that, counter to recent claims, intentionality judgments are systematically guided by variations in the agent’s desire, for moral and nonmoral actions alike. Studies 5 and 6 show that a behavior’s negative side effects are rarely seen as intentional once people are allowed to choose from multiple descriptions of the behavior. Specifically, people distinguish between “knowingly” and “intentionally” bringing about a side effect, even for immoral actions. These studies suggest that intentionality judgments are unaffected by a behavior’s blameworthiness.
|Keywords||intentionality blame moral judgment morality praise bias|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Phillips & Alex Shaw (2014). Manipulating Morality: Third‐Party Intentions Alter Moral Judgments by Changing Causal Reasoning. Cognitive Science 38 (8):1320-1347.
John Turri & Peter Blouw (2015). Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking. Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.
Frank Hindriks (2014). Normativity in Action: How to Explain the Knobe Effect and its Relatives. Mind and Language 29 (1):51-72.
Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley (2012). Explaining the Abstract/Concrete Paradoxes in Moral Psychology: The NBAR Hypothesis. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):351-368.
Florian Cova, Emmanuel Dupoux & Pierre Jacob (2012). On Doing Things Intentionally. Mind and Language 27 (4):378-409.
Similar books and articles
Bertram F. Malle (2006). Intentionality, Morality, and Their Relationship in Human Judgment. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:61-86.
Steve Guglielmo & Bertram Malle (2010). Enough Skill to Kill: Intentionality Judgments and the Moral Valence of Action. Cognition 117 (2):139-150.
Florian Cova & Hichem Naar (2012). Side-Effect Effect Without Side Effects: The Pervasive Impact of Moral Considerations on Judgments of Intentionality. Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):837-854.
Sandra Pellizzoni, Vittorio Girotto & Luca Surian (2010). Beliefs and Moral Valence Affect Intentionality Attributions: The Case of Side Effects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):201-209.
Andy Wible (2009). Knobe, Side Effects, and the Morally Good Business. Journal of Business Ethics 85 (1):173 - 178.
Bence Nanay (2010). Morality or Modality?: What Does the Attribution of Intentionality Depend On? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 25-39.
Kate Falkenstien (forthcoming). Explaining the Effect of Morality on Intentionality: The Role of Underlying Questions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
Kate Falkenstien (2013). Explaining the Effect of Morality on Intentionality of Lucky Actions: The Role of Underlying Questions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):293-308.
Frank Hindriks (2008). Intentional Action and the Praise-Blame Asymmetry. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):630-641.
Berit Brogaard (2010). Stupid People Deserve What They Get: The Effects of Personality Assessment on Judgments of Intentional Action. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):332-334.
Michael Waldmann (forthcoming). The Role of the Primary Effect in the Assessment of Intentionality and Morality. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
Jamie S. Hughes & David Trafimow (2012). Inferences About Character and Motive Influence Intentionality Attributions About Side Effects. British Journal of Social Psychology 51:661-673.
Steve Guglielmo, Andrew E. Monroe & Bertram F. Malle (2009). At the Heart of Morality Lies Folk Psychology. Inquiry 52 (5):449-466.
Alessandro Lanteri (2009). Judgements of Intentionality and Moral Worth: Experimental Challenges to Hindriks. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):713-720.
Tiziana Zalla & Marion Leboyer (2011). Judgment of Intentionality and Moral Evaluation in Individuals with High Functioning Autism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):681-698.
Added to index2010-11-26
Total downloads52 ( #70,208 of 1,780,746 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #140,361 of 1,780,746 )
How can I increase my downloads?