David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):171-185 (2012)
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 (2003). Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. Analysis 63 (3):190–194.
Joshua Knobe (2010). Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe (2009). The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment. Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.
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.
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