Asymmetries in judgments of responsibility and intentional action

Mind and Language 24 (1):24-50 (2009)
Abstract
Abstract: Recent experimental research on the 'Knobe effect' suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations. We defend a novel account of this phenomenon that exploits two factors: (i) an intuitive asymmetry in judgments of responsibility (e.g. praise/blame) and (ii) the fact that intentionality commonly connects the evaluative status of actions to the responsibility of actors. We present the results of several new studies that provide empirical evidence in support of this account while disconfirming various currently prominent alternative accounts. We end by discussing some implications of this account for folk psychology.
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Joshua Knobe (2010). Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
Joseph Ulatowski (2012). Act Individuation: An Experimental Approach. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):249-262.

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