Does emotion mediate the effect of an action's moral status on its intentional status? Neuropsychological evidence
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:291-304 (2006)
Studies of normal individuals reveal an asymmetry in the folk concept of intentional action: an action is more likely to be thought of as intentional when it is morally bad than when it is morally good. One interpretation of these results comes from the hypothesis that emotion plays a critical mediating role in the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status. According to this hypothesis, the negative emotional response triggered by a morally bad action drives the attribution of intent to the actor, or the judgment that the actor acted intentionally. We test this hypothesis by presenting cases of morally bad and morally good action to seven individuals with deficits in emotional processing resulting from damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC). If normal emotional processing is necessary for the observed asymmetry, then individuals with VMPC lesions should show no asymmetry. Our results provide no support for this hypothesis: like normal individuals, those with VMPC lesions showed the same asymmetry, tending to judge that an action was intentional when it was morally bad but not when it was morally good. Based on this finding, we suggest that normal emotional processing is not responsible for the observed asymmetry of intentional attributions and thus does not mediate the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (2007). Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions. Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
Joshua Knobe (2007). Experimental Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 2 (1):81–92.
James R. Beebe & Wesley Buckwalter (2010). The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect. Mind and Language 25 (4):474-498.
Edouard Machery (2006). The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Philosophical and Experimental Issues. Mind and Language 23 (2):165–189.
Fiery Cushman, Joshua Knobe & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2008). Moral Appraisals Affect Doing/Allowing Judgments. Cognition 108 (2):353-380.
Similar books and articles
Alessandro Lanteri (2009). Judgements of Intentionality and Moral Worth: Experimental Challenges to Hindriks. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):713-720.
Bence Nanay (2010). Morality or Modality?: What Does the Attribution of Intentionality Depend On? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 25-39.
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). Blame, Badness, and Intentional Action: A Reply to Knobe and Mendlow. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):259-269.
R. W. Gibbs Jr & G. C. Van Orden (2003). Are Emotional Expressions Intentional?: A Self-Organizational Approach. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):1-16.
W. R. & C. G. (2003). Are Emotional Expressions Intentional?: A Self-Organizational Approach. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):1-16.
Joshua Knobe, Adam Cohen & Alan Leslie (2006). Acting Intentionally and the Side-Effect Effect: 'Theory of Mind' and Moral Judgment. Psychological Science 17:421-427.
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.
Joshua Knobe (2003). Intentional Action in Folk Psychology: An Experimental Investigation. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):309-325.
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.
Frank Hindriks (2008). Intentional Action and the Praise-Blame Asymmetry. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):630-641.
Added to index2009-10-01
Total downloads61 ( #54,279 of 1,725,584 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #211,098 of 1,725,584 )
How can I increase my downloads?