Effects of moral cognition on judgments of intentionality

Several recent articles on the concept of intentional action center on experimental findings suggesting that intentionality ascription can be affected by moral factors. I argue that the explanation for these phenomena lies in the workings of a tacit moral judgment mechanism, capable under certain circumstances of altering normal intentionality ascriptions. This view contrasts with that of Knobe ([2006]), who argues that the findings show that the concept of intentional action invokes evaluative notions. I discuss and reject possible objections to the moral mechanism view, and offer arguments supporting the model over Knobe's account on grounds of simplicity and plausibility.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axn035
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Joshua Knobe & Bertram Malle (1997). The Folk Concept of Intentionality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 33:101-121.
Adam Feltz (2007). The Knobe Effect: A Brief Overview. Journal of Mind and Behavior 28 (3-4):265-277.
Mark Alicke & David Rose (2010). Culpable Control or Moral Concepts? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (04):330-331.
Steven Sverdlik (2004). Intentionality and Moral Judgments in Commonsense Thought About Action. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):224-236.

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