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
Ronald J. Butler (1978). Report on Analysis "Problem" No. 16. Analysis 38 (3):113 - 114.
Kim Davies (1981). Killing People Intentionally, by Chance. Analysis 41 (3):156-159.
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28 - 53.
Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias (2007). The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
S. Matthew Liao (2008). A Defense of Intuitions. Philosophical Studies 140 (2):247 - 262.
Jennifer Cole Wright & John Bengson (2009). Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action. Mind and Language 24 (1):24-50.
Billy Dunaway, Anna Edmonds & David Manley (2013). The Folk Probably Do Think What You Think They Think. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):421-441.
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