David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Analysis 64 (3):277–284 (2004)
On the surface, it seems plausible that the goodness or badness of an agent’s actions should be completely irrelevant to the question of whether she performed them intentionally, but there is growing evidence that ascriptions of intentional actions are affected by moral considerations. Joshua Knobe, for instance, has recently published a series of groundbreaking papers (2003a, 2003b, 2004) in which he suggests that people’s judgments concerning the intentionality of an action may sometimes depend on what they think about the action – morally speaking. One of the more interesting results of Knobe’s psychological experiments is the discovery that people may have a lower threshold for judging that lucky (or unskilled) actions are intentional when these actions are praiseworthy or blameworthy than they do for judging that equally lucky (or unskilled) morally neutral actions are intentional. In this paper I show that this discovery – when supplemented with some additional empirical data – gives us a way of shedding new light on a controversy that was sparked by Ronald Butler in 1977 when he posed the following problem to the readers of Analysis.
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References found in this work BETA
Joshua Knobe (2003). Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. Analysis 63 (3):190–194.
Joshua Knobe (2003). Intentional Action in Folk Psychology: An Experimental Investigation. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):309-325.
Joshua Knobe (2004). Intention, Intentional Action and Moral Considerations. Analysis 64 (2):181–187.
Alfred R. Mele & Paul K. Moser (1994). Intentional Action. Noûs 28 (1):39-68.
Alfred Mele & Steven Sverdlik (1996). Intention, Intentional Action, and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 82 (3):265 - 287.
Citations of this work BETA
Kirk Ludwig (2007). The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Blackwell Pub. Inc. 128-159.
Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28 - 53.
Joshua Knobe (2006). The Concept of Intentional Action: A Case Study in the Uses of Folk Psychology. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):203-231.
Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias (2007). The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2006). Bad Acts, Blameworthy Agents, and Intentional Actions: Some Problems for Juror Impartiality. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):203 – 219.
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