Action, Attitude, and the Knobe Effect: Another Asymmetry

Abstract
A majority of people regard the harmful side-effects of an agent’s behavior as much more intentional than an agent’s helpful side-effects. In this paper, I present evidence for a related asymmetry. When a side-effect action is an instance of harming , folk ascriptions are significantly impacted by the relative badness of either an agent’s main goal or her side-effect action, but not her attitude. Yet when a side-effect action is an instance of helping , folk ascriptions are sensitive to an agent’s expressed attitude , but not to the relative goodness of her main goal or side-effect. It seems that the connection between harmful side-effects and intentionality is, for many, uniquely impervious to the expressed attitude of the agent in question.
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References found in this work BETA
Joshua Knobe (2010). Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.

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Adam Feltz (2007). The Knobe Effect: A Brief Overview. Journal of Mind and Behavior 28:265-277.
Jason Turner (2004). Folk Intuitions, Asymmetry, and Intentional Side Effects. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):214-219.
Roblin R. Meeks (2004). Unintentionally Biasing the Data: Reply to Knobe. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):220-223.
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). Blame, Badness, and Intentional Action: A Reply to Knobe and Mendlow. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):259-269.
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