The deep self model and asymmetries in folk judgments about intentional action

Philosophical Studies 151 (2):159-176 (2010)
Abstract
Recent studies by experimental philosophers demonstrate puzzling asymmetries in people’s judgments about intentional action, leading many philosophers to propose that normative factors are inappropriately influencing intentionality judgments. In this paper, I present and defend the Deep Self Model of judgments about intentional action that provides a quite different explanation for these judgment asymmetries. The Deep Self Model is based on the idea that people make an intuitive distinction between two parts of an agent’s psychology, an Acting Self that contains the desires, means-end beliefs, and intentions that are the immediate causal source of an agent’s actions, and a Deep Self, which contains an agent’s stable and central psychological attitudes, including the agent’s values, principles, life goals, and other more fundamental attitudes. The Deep Self Model proposes that when people are asked to make judgments about whether an agent brought about an outcome intentionally, in addition to standard criteria proposed in traditional models, people also assess an additional ‘Concordance Criterion’: Does the outcome concord with the psychological attitudes of the agent’s Deep Self? I show that the Deep Self Model can explain a very complex pattern of judgment asymmetries documented in the experimental philosophy literature, and does so in a way that has significant advantages over competing models.
Keywords Experimental philosophy  Intentional action  Knobe effect  Folk psychology
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    References found in this work BETA
    Joshua Knobe & Bertram Malle (1997). The Folk Concept of Intentionality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 33:101-121.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Joseph Ulatowski (2012). Act Individuation: An Experimental Approach. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):249-262.
    Corey McGrath (2011). Can Substitution Inferences Explain the Knobe Effect? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):667-679.

    View all 8 citations

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