This piece criticizes Fodor's argument (in The Elm and the Expert, 1994) for the claim that Frege cases should be treated as exceptions to (broad) psychological generalizations rather than as counterexamples.
Rosenberg argues that intentional generalizations in the human sciences cannot be law-like because they are not amenable to significant empirical refinement. This irrefinability is said to result from the principle that supposedly controls in intentional explanation also serving as the standard for successful interpretation. The only credible evidence bearing on such a principle would then need conform to it. I argue that psychological generalizations are refinable and can be nomic. I show how empirical refinement of psychological generalizations is (...) possible by considering concrete cases. A sufficiently detailed view of the role of psychological generalizations in interpretation allows us to find in psychological investigations instances of bootstrap testing. (shrink)
I have argued elsewhere that the psychological aspects of Nietzsche’s later works are best understood from a psychodynamic point of view. Nietzsche holds a view I dubbed the tenacity of the intentional (T): when an intentional state loses its object, a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. In this essay I amend and clarify (T) to (T``): When an intentional state with a sub-propositional object loses its object, the affective component of the (...) state persists without a corresponding object, and that affect will generally be redeployed in a state with a distinct object. I then trace the development of the tenacity thesis through Nietzsche’s early and middle works. Along the way, I discuss a number of related topics, including the scope of the tenacity thesis (does it apply to all intentional states?), the reflexive turn one often finds in Nietzsche’s examples (why does he so often say the new object is oneself?), and the relations among will to power, drives, and the tenacity of the intentional. (shrink)
Speakers often judge the sentence “Lois Lane believes that Superman flies” to be true and the sentence “Lois Lane believes that Clark Kent flies” to be false. If Millianism is true, however, these sentences express the very same proposition and must therefore have same truth value. “Pragmatic” Millians like Salmon and Soames have tried to explain speakers’ “anti-substitution intuitions” by claiming that the two sentences are routinely used to pragmatically convey different propositions which do have different truth values. “Non-Pragmatic” Millians (...) like Braun, on the other hand, have argued that the Millian should not appeal to pragmatics and opt instead for a purely psychological explanation. I will present two objections against Non-Pragmatic Millianism. The first one is that the view cannot account for the intuitions of speakers who accept the identity sentence “Superman is Clark Kent”: applying a psychological account in this case, I will argue, would yield wrong predictions about speakers who resist substitution with simple sentences. I will then consider a possible response from the non-pragmatic Millian and show that the response would in fact require an appeal to pragmatics. My conclusion will be that Braun’s psychological explanation of anti-substitution intuitions is untenable, and that the Millian is therefore forced to adopt a pragmatic account. My second objection is that Non-Pragmatic Millianism cannot account for the role that certain commonsense intentional generalizations play in the explanation of behavior. I will consider a reply offered by Braun and argue that it still leaves out a large class of important generalizations. My conclusion will be that Braun’s non-pragmatic strategy fails, and that the Millian will again be forced to adopt a pragmatic account of intentional generalizations if he wants to respond to the objection. In light of my two objections, my general conclusion will be that non-pragmatic versions of Millianism should be rejected. This has an important consequence: if Millianism is true, then some pragmatic Millian account must be correct. It follows that, if standard objections against pragmatic accounts succeed, then Millianism must be rejected altogether. (shrink)
What is the semantic contribution of anaphoric links in sentences like, ‘A physicist was late to the party. He brought some bongos’? A natural first thought is that the passage entails a wide-scope existential claim that there is something that both (i) was late to the party and (ii) brought some bongos. Intentional identity sentences are counter-examples to this natural thought applied to anaphora in general. Some have tried to rescue the thought and accommodate the counter-examples by positing mythical (...) objects. I present a new intentional identity sentence that cannot be so accommodated. I then propose a new account of intentional identity and other anaphoric sentences that does not appeal to mythical objects, but instead draws on traditional accounts of definite descriptions. (shrink)
Four experiments examined people’s folk-psychological concept of intentional action. The chief question was whether or not _evaluative _considerations — considerations of good and bad, right and wrong, praise and blame — played any role in that concept. The results indicated that the moral qualities of a behavior strongly influence people’s judgements as to whether or not that behavior should be considered ‘intentional.’ After eliminating a number of alternative explanations, the author concludes that this effect is best explained by (...) the hypothesis that evaluative considerations do play some role in people’s concept of intentional action.<b> </b>. (shrink)
Taking our lead from Solomon’s emphasis on the importance of the intentional object of emotion, we review the history of repeated attempts to make this object disappear. We adduce evidence suggesting that in the case of James and Schachter, the intentional object got lost unintentionally. By contrast, modern constructivists (in particular Barrett) seem quite determined to deny the centrality of the intentional object in accounting for the occurrence of emotions. Griffiths, however, downplays the role objects have in (...) emotion noting that these do not qualify as intentional. We argue that these disappearing acts, deliberate or not, generate fruitless debate and add little to the advancement of our understanding of emotion as an adaptive mechanism to cope with events that are relevant to an organism’s life. (shrink)
It is natural to think that at root, agents are beings that act. Agents do more than this, however – agents omit to act. Sometimes agents do so intentionally. How should we understand intentional omission? Recent accounts of intentional omission have given causation a central theoretical role. The move is well-motivated. If some form of causalism about intentional omission can successfully exploit similarities between action and omission, it might inherit the broad support causalism about intentional action (...) enjoys. In this paper I consider the prospects for causalism about intentional omission. I examine two recent proposals: one Carolina Sartorio (2009) defends, and one Randolph Clarke (2010a) defends. I argue these versions fail, and for a similar reason. Reflection on the function of intention for agency brings this reason to light, and motivates a novel causalism about intentional omission. On the account I go on to defend necessarily, an agent J intentionally omits to A only if an intention of J’s with relevant content (or the intention’s acquisition) causes in J a disposition not to A. Though the causal work done by intentions to omit differs in some cases from the causal work done by intentions to act, it turns out that causalism about intentional behavior (i.e., about action and omission) is viable. (shrink)
This short paper, forthcoming as part of a symposium on experimental philosophy to appear in the popular publication, The Philosophers’ Magazine (including contributions by Papineau, Stich, Machery, Sommers, and Knobe), offers an accessible summary of seven years of experimental-philosophical research into intentional action attributions.
Intentional action involves both a series of neural events in the motor areas of the brain, and also a distinctive conscious experience that ''I'' am the author of the action. This paper investigates some possible ways in which these neural and phenomenal events may be related. Recent models of motor prediction are relevant to the conscious experience of action as well as to its neural control. Such models depend critically on matching the actual consequences of a movement against its (...) internally predicted effects. However, it remains unclear whether our conscious experience of action depends on a precise matching process, or a retrospective inference that ''I'' must have been responsible for a particular event. We report an experiment in which normal subjects judged the perceived time of either intentional actions, involuntary movements, or subsequent effects (auditory tones) of these. We found that the subject's intention to produce the auditory tone produced an intentional binding between the perceived times of the subject's action and the tone. However, if the intention was interrupted by an imposed involuntary movement, followed by the identical tone, no such binding occurred. The phenomenology of intentional action requires an appropriate predictive link between intentions and effects, rather than a retrospective inference that ''I'' caused the effect. (shrink)
In opposition to the tenet of contemporary action theory that an intentional action must be done for a reason, I argue that some intentional actions are unmotivated. I provide examples of arbitrary and habitual actions that are done for no reason at all. I consider and rebut an objection to the examples of unmotivated habitual action. I explain how my contention differs from recent challenges to the tenet by Hursthouse, Stocker and Pollard.
Discusses the old problem of how to characterize apparently intentional states that appear to lack objects. In tandem with critically discussing a recent proposal by Tim Crane, I develop the line of reasoning according to which talking about intentional objects is really a way of talking about intentional states—in particular, it’s a way of talking about their satisfaction-conditions.
The ‘Knobe effect’ is the name given to the empirical finding that judgments about whether an action is intentional or not seem to depend on the moral valence of this action. To account for this phenomenon, Scaife and Webber have recently advanced the ‘Consideration Hypothesis’, according to which people’s ascriptions of intentionality are driven by whether they think the agent took the outcome in consideration when taking his decision. In this paper, I examine Scaife and Webber’s hypothesis and conclude (...) that it is supported neither by the existing literature nor by their own experiments, whose results I did not replicate, and that the ‘Consideration Hypothesis’ is not the best available account of the ‘Knobe Effect’. (shrink)
I. Thanks largely to Joshua Knobe, philosophers now frequently empirically investigate the folk psychological concept of intentional action. Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b) argues that application of this concept is often surprisingly sensitive to one’s moral views. In particular, it seems that people are much more willing to regard a bit of behavior as intentional, if they think that the action in question is bad or wrong. There is much controversy about both the design and the interpretation of the (...) experiments Knobe has conducted. One concern is that common use of the word ‘intentionally’ seems to be sensitive to matters other than the concept of intentional action. Perhaps the use of the word ‘intentionally’ is also governed by pragmatic thoughts about blameworthiness—if you think N.N. is to be blamed for ф-ing, then you are more likely to say that N.N. is ф-ing intentionally, apart from whether you really judge that the ф-ing was intentional (Adams and Steadman 2004a). One way to neutralize these concerns is to gauge whether people regard an action as intentional, not by asking them whether they would apply the word ‘intentional’ or its cognates to the action in question, but by seeing whether they treat the action as susceptible to reason explanations. After all, if some act of ф-ing is susceptible to a reason explanation, then the act of ф-ing is intentional. Knobe infers that we can see whether a psychological subject regards some act as intentional by seeing whether the subject is willing to say that the bit of behavior can function appropriately in a reasons explanation. (shrink)
Knobe argues that people’s judgments of the moral status of a side-effect of action influence their assessment of whether the side-effect is intentional. We tested this hypothesis using vignettes akin to Knobe’s but involving economically or eudaimonistically (wellness-related) negative side-effects. Our results show that it is people’s sense of what agents deserve and not the moral status of side-effects that drives intuition.
I argue that, given an influential type of reductive account of intentional joint action, a requirement that agents have “common knowledge” (CK) of each other’s intentions should be rejected. For instance, our building of a block tower could be an intentional joint action even if I falsely believed that you thought that I just intended to cover your blocks with mine. My argument is mainly negative: I examine and reject arguments that have been made, or that could have (...) been made, in favour of the CK-condition. Contrary to received opinion, the common knowledge required by such a condition is neither a constitutive element of intentional joint action, nor a necessary enabling condition for its occurrence. (shrink)
I argue for the following analysis of a freely willed action: an act is done of one's own free will, if and only if, it is an intentional act performed by one acting as a rational agent from unobstructed reasons, and so situated that he or she has the capacity to forbear from performing it.
I argue that intentional psychology does not stand in need of vindication by a lower-level implementation theory from cognitive science, in particular the representational theory of mind (RTM), as most famously Jerry Fodor has argued. The stance of the paper is novel in that I claim this holds even if one, in line with Fodor, views intentional psychology as an empirical theory, and its theoretical posits as as real as those of other sciences. I consider four metaphysical arguments (...) for the idea that intentional psychological states, such as beliefs, must be seen as requiring in-the-head mental representations for us to be able to understand their characteristic causal powers and argue that none of them validly generate their desired conclusions. I go on to argue that RTM, or some computational version thereof, is not motivated by appeal to the nature of cognitive science research either. I conclude that intentional psychology, though an empirical theory, is autonomous from details of lower level mechanism in a way that renders RTM unwarranted. (shrink)
Locke, Berkeley, Gentzen gave dierent justi cations of universal generalization. In particular, Gentzen's justi cation is the one currently used in most logic textbooks. In this paper I argue that all such justi cations are problematic, and propose an alternative justi cation which is related to the approach to generality of Greek mathematics.
I argue that proponents of embodied social cognition (ESC) can usefully supplement their views if they enlist the help of an unlikely ally: Daniel Dennett. On Dennett’s view, human social cognition involves adopting the intentional stance (IS), i.e., assuming that an interpretive target’s behavior is an optimally rational attempt to fulfill some desire relative to her beliefs. Characterized this way, proponents of ESC would reject any alliance with Dennett. However, for Dennett, to attribute mental states from the intentional (...) stance is not to attribute concrete, unobservable mental causes of behavior. Once this is appreciated, the kinship between IS—understood as a model of our quotidian interpretive practices—and ESC is apparent: both assume that quotidian interpretation involves tracking abstract, observable, behavioral patterns, not attributing unobservable, concrete, mental causes, i.e., both assume social cognition is possible without metapsychology. I argue that this affinity constitutes an opportunity: proponents of ESC can use IS as a characterization of the subpersonal basis for social cognition. In the process, I make my interpretation of IS more precise and relate it to current empirical literature in developmental psychology. (shrink)
Critics of wide functionalism have traditionally sought to attack the theory by exposing weaknesses in its account of the qualitative content of experience. Wide functionalist theories of intentional content, however, were spared philosophical scrutiny. I propose that wide functionalist accounts of the intentional content are equally susceptible to attack. I will attempt to demonstrate this by enlisting the functionalist's old foe from the qualia wars - the inverted spectrum hypothesis - in a new way. If the argument is (...) sound, not only will I have shown that the inverted spectrum hypothesis may have more use than philosophical literature recognizes, I will have also exposed a weakness in a dominant philosophical theory: the wide functionalist theory of intentional content. (shrink)
E. Husserl’s reflections in Logical Investigations on “intentional feelings” and “non-intentional feelings” are significant in both his later ethical explorations and M. Scheler’s thought on ethics. Through the incorporation of the views of Husserl and Scheler, we find that the phenomenology of the intentional feeling-acts is not only the foundation of the non-formal ethics of values in Scheler’s phenomenology, but also at least the constitutive foundation of the ethics of Husserl’s first orientation.
In this paper I argue that, to make intentional actions fully intelligible, we need to posit representations of action the content of which is nonconceptual. I further argue that an analysis of the properties of these nonconceptual representations, and of their relation- ships to action representations at higher levels, sheds light on the limits of intentional control. On the one hand, the capacity to form nonconceptual representations of goal-directed movements underscores the capacity to acquire executable concepts of these (...) movements, thus allowing them to come under intentional control. On the other hand, the degree of autonomy these nonconceptual representations enjoy, and the specific temporal constraints stemming from their role in motor control, set limits on intentional control over action execution. (shrink)
This paper tries to show that Kims strategy of preventing the problem of generalization of mental causation is not successful and that his original supervenience argument can be applied to cases of nonmental macrolevel causation, with the effect that nonmental macroproperties which only supervene on, but are not identical with, configurations of microproperties turn out to be epiphenomenal after all.
In a 2005 paper Ólafur Páll Jónsson presents a puzzle that turns on intentional identity and definite descriptions. He considers eight solutions and rejects them all, thus leaving the puzzle unsolved. In this paper I put forward a solution. The puzzle is this. Little Lotta wants most of all a bicycle for her birthday, but she gets none. Distracted by the gifts she does receive, she at first does not think about the bike. But when seeing her tricycle, she (...) is reminded of the bike. The question is how we are to analyse these two occurrences of ‘the bike’ in the absence of a unique bike that Lotta wants. So the semantics of ‘the bike’ needs to be spelt out, and it must be made explicit what the complements of Lotta’s attitudes are. My analysis shows that the attributer’s usage of ‘the bike’ blurs the distinction between a second-order and a first-order intension (a property concept and a property, respectively). My solution can be summed up in this two-premise argument. (a) In the state-of-affairs S, the property of being a bike is the extension of the property concept the property such that Lotta wants an instance of it more than any other; (b) in S, Lotta does not think about/is reminded of the property that she wants an instance of more than any other; (c) therefore, in S Lotta does not think about/is reminded of the property of being a bike. This solution requires looking beyond the confines of denotational semantics, which all of Jónsson’s eight solution candidates belong to. (shrink)
Whether or not an intentional explanation of action necessarily involves law-like statements is related to another question, namely, is it a causal explanation? The Popper-Hempel Thesis , which answers both questions affirmatively, inevitably faces a dilemma between realistic and universalistic requirements. However, in terms of W.C. Salmon’s concept of causal explanation, intentional explanation can be a causal one even if it does not rely on any laws. Based on this, we are able to refute three characteristic arguments for (...) the claim “reason is not a cause of action,” namely, the “proper logical” argument, the “logical relation” argument, and the “rule-following” argument. This rebuttal suggests that the causal relationship between reason and action can provide a justification for intentional explanations. (shrink)
My aim in this article is to ascertain whether any of the interesting phenomena that Daniel Wegner discusses in The Illusion of Conscious Will (2002) falsify a certain hypothesis about intentional actions. Here is a rough, preliminary statement of the hypothesis: Whenever human agents perform an overt, intentional action, A, some intention of theirs is a cause of A. The hypothesis is refined in section 1. In section 2, I turn to this article's main question.
In recent years, a number of writers dealingwith questions over parenthood that arisein the context of reproductive technologies andsurrogate motherhood, have appealed to thenotion of ``intentional parenthood''. Basingtheir argument on liberal values such asindividual autonomy, the freedom to entercontracts, the right to privacy, and individualself-fulfilment, they argue that contractuallystated intentions, rather than genetic orgestational relationships, should form thebasis of parental rights. Against this I arguethat parental rights do not derive fromcontractual agreements, but are based in theirobligations towards the child. (...) I then examinethe nature of the obligations that the variousparties have towards the child both pre- andpostnatally. (shrink)
The paper attempts to analyze in some detail the main problems encountered in reasoning using diagrams, which may cause errors in reasoning, produce doubts concerning the reliability of diagrams, and impressions that diagrammatic reasoning lacks the rigour necessary for mathematical reasoning. The paper first argues that such impressions come from long neglect which led to a lack of well-developed, properly tested and reliable reasoning methods, as contrasted with the amount of work generations of mathematicians expended on refining the methods of (...) reasoning with formulae and predicate calculus. Next, two main groups of problems occurring in diagrammatic reasoning are introduced. The second group, called diagram imprecision, is then briefly summarized, its detailed analysis being postponed to another paper. The first group, called collectively the generalization problem, is analyzed in detail in the rest of the paper. The nature and causes of the problems from this group are explained, methods of detecting the potentially harmful occurrences of these problems are discussed, and remedies for possible errors they may cause are proposed. Some of the methods are adapted from similar methods used in reasoning with formulae, several other problems constitute new, specifically diagrammatic ways of reliable reasoning. (shrink)
This paper analyzes four instances in talk of generalization about people, that is, of using statements about one or more people as the basis of stating something about a category. Generalization can be seen as a categorization practice which involves a reflexive relationship between the generalized-from person or people and the generalized-to category. One thing that is accomplished through generalization is instruction in how to understand the identity of the generalized-from person or people, so in addition to (...) being understood as a practice of categorization, generalization can also be understood as a practice of identification. Somewhat incidentally, this paper also illustrates the importance of certain methodological issues related to membership categorization analysis and contributes to the growing body of work that connects membership categorization analysis with sequential conversation analysis. (shrink)
Research in education and cognitive development suggests that explaining plays a key role in learning and generalization: When learners provide explanations—even to themselves—they learn more effectively and generalize more readily to novel situations. This paper proposes and tests a subsumptive constraints account of this effect. Motivated by philosophical theories of explanation, this account predicts that explaining guides learners to interpret what they are learning in terms of unifying patterns or regularities, which promotes the discovery of broad generalizations. Three experiments (...) provide evidence for the subsumptive constraints account: prompting participants to explain while learning artificial categories promotes the induction of a broad generalization underlying category membership, relative to describing items (Exp. 1), thinking aloud (Exp. 2), or free study (Exp. 3). Although explaining facilitates discovery, Experiment 1 finds that description is more beneficial for learning item details. Experiment 2 additionally suggests that explaining anomalous observations may play a special role in belief revision. The findings provide insight into explanation’s role in discovery and generalization. (shrink)
Reproductive techniques and practices, ranging from ordinary birth-control measures and artificial insemination to embryo transfer and surrogate motherhood, have greatly enhanced our range of reproductive choices. As a consequence, they pose a number of difficult moral and legal questions with regard to the formation of a family and our conception of parenthood. A view that is becoming increasingly common is that parental rights and responsibilities should not be based on genetic relationships but should instead be seen as arising from agreements (...) or contracts between individuals. Accordingly, a man who consents to his wife's artificial insemination by donor (AID) and not the sperm donor, is the legal father of the child; in surrogacy agreements, the intending mother, and not the surrogate, has the right to raise the resulting child. While agreeing that biology should not form the basis for assigning legal parenthood, I argue that the theory of intentional parenthood, despite being put forward as a liberal theory, is geared toward or will have the function of protecting the nuclear family and inhibiting the formation of alternative family forms. (shrink)
There are plausible objections to substitutional construals of generalization. But these objections do not apply to a substitutional construal of generalization proposed by Peter Geach several years ago. This paper examines Geach’s conception.
E. Husserl's reflections in Logical Investigations on "Intentional Feelings" and "non-intentional feelings" are significant in both his later ethical explorations and M. Scheler's thought on ethics. Through the incorporation of the views of Husserl and Scheler, we find that the phenomenology of the intentional feeling-acts is not only the foundation of the non-formal ethics of values in Scheler's phenomenology, but also at least the constitutive foundation of the ethics of Husserl's first orientation. /// 胡塞尔在 "逻辑研究" 中对 "意向感受" (...) 和 "非意向感受" 的思考，无论是 在他后来的伦理学探讨中，还是在舍勒的伦理学思想中，都具有重要的意义。通过 将胡塞尔与舍勒的视域融合，可以发现，意向感受行为现象学不仅是舍勒现象学的 质料的价值伦理学基础，而且至少可以是胡塞尔第一个方向上的伦理学的建构基础。. (shrink)
Having briefly sketched the aims of our paper, namely, to logically analyse the ascription of propositional attitudes to somebody else in terms, not of Fregean senses or of intensions-with-s, but of the intentional object of the person spoken about, say, the believer or intender (Section 1), we try to introduce the concept of an intentional object as simply as possible, to wit, as coming into view whenever two (or more) subjective belief-worlds strikingly diverge (Section 2). Then, we assess (...) the pros and cons of Frege’s view that the indirect reference of an expression is nothing but its customary sense (Sections 3–4), and call the reader’s attention to the fact that in belief ascriptions de re we take it for granted that the believer’s intentional object is at the same time a ‘citizen’ of the belief ascriber’s subjective world (or, for that matter, the real word), and that the idea of such a ‘dual citizenship’ is even more obviously presupposed in the cases of true belief and propositional knowledge (Section 5). Then, we try to argue that it is more fertile to take the belief ascriber’s intentional object to be, not the whole state of affairs the believer has in mind and thinks to exist, but the latter’s intentional object as such, that is, as being his intentional object (Section 6). Finally, we discuss the intricate and mostly neglected question of whether an intentional object’s inhabiting two or more subjective belief-worlds should be considered to be sort of a ‘transmundane identity’ in the numerical sense or rather in some deviant sense of the term, which can be specified as a momentous subcase of a ‘categorial difference’ (Section 7). (shrink)
Inductive generalization, where people go beyond the data provided, is a basic cognitive capability, and it underpins theoretical accounts of learning, categorization, and decision making. To complete the inductive leap needed for generalization, people must make a key ‘‘sampling’’ assumption about how the available data were generated. Previous models have considered two extreme possibilities, known as strong and weak sampling. In strong sampling, data are assumed to have been deliberately generated as positive examples of a concept, whereas in (...) weak sampling, data are assumed to have been generated without any restrictions. We develop a more general account of sampling that allows for an intermediate mixture of these two extremes, and we test its usefulness. In two experiments, we show that most people complete simple one-dimensional generalization tasks in a way that is consistent with their believing in some mixture of strong and weak sampling, but that there are large individual differences in the relative emphasis different people give to each type of sampling. We also show experimentally that the relative emphasis of the mixture is influenced by the structure of the available information. We discuss the psychological meaning of mixing strong and weak sampling, and possible extensions of our modeling approach to richer problems of inductive generalization. (shrink)
The paper contains a survey of (mainly unpublished) adaptive logics of inductive generalization. These defeasible logics are precise formulations of certain methods. Some attention is also paid to ways of handling background knowledge, introducing mere conjectures, and the research guiding capabilities of the logics.
In this paper I argue that Marxist studies of schools have overlooked the power of intentional explanations to explain schooling practices and policies. This oversight is at least in part due to many radical analyses failing to distinguish between explaining the acquisition and persistence of beliefs and determining the social consequences that follow from acting on beliefs. I further contend that radical researchers examining schooling practices must develop a more rigorous and refined conception of capitalist class interests.
According to the simple proposal, a predicate is rigid iff it signifies the same property across the different possible worlds. The simple proposal has been claimed to suffer from an over-generalization problem. Assume that one can make sense of predicates signifying properties, and assume that trivialization concerns, to the effect that the notion would cover any predicate whatsoever, can be overcome. Still, the proposal would over-generalize, the worry has it, by covering predicates for artifactual, social, or evaluative properties, such (...) as ‘is a knife,’ ‘is a bachelor,’ or ‘is funny.’ In defense, it is argued that rigidity for predicates as characterized plays the appropriate theoretical role, and that the contention that “unnatural” properties are not to be rigidly signified is ungrounded. (shrink)
How a person perceives a wrongdoing being committed by a coworker will affect whether the incident is reported within the organization. A significant factor that may influence the decision to report a wrongdoing is the perceived intentionality of the wrongdoer. This study sought to examine if differences in perceptions of a wrongdoing could affect the disclosure of unethical behavior. Three hundred seventy-two registered nurses (N = 372) responded to a survey consisting of both intentional and unintentional wrongdoings that could (...) occur by a nurse. Results of a paired t-test were as predicted. More wide ranging revelations found that respondents were more likely to discuss the unintentional wrongdoings with the wrongdoer in lieu of officially reporting to an immediate supervisor, or a member of upper management. Discussion, limitations, and suggestions for future research are provided. (shrink)
Recent brain imaging research revealed that internally guided actions involve the fronto-median wall, in particular the preSMA and the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ). However, a systematic decomposition of different components of intentional action is still lacking. We propose a new paradigm to dissociate two components of internally guided behaviour: Which action to perform (selection component) and when to perform the action (timing component). Our results suggest a neuro-functional dissociation of intentional action timing and intentional action selection. While (...) the RCZ is more strongly activated for the selection component, a part of the superior medial frontal gyrus (SFG) is more strongly activated for the timing component. However, in a post-hoc conducted signal-strength analysis we did also observe an interaction between action timing and action selection, indicating that decisional processes concerning action timing and action selection are not completely dissociated but interdependent. Altogether this study challenges the idea of a unitary system supporting voluntary action and instead suggests the existence of different neuranatomically dissociable subfunctions. (shrink)
Ethical dilemmas are common in the neonatal intensive care setting. The aim of the present study was to investigate the opinions of Swedish physicians and the general public on treatment decisions regarding a newborn with severe brain damage. We used a vignette-based questionnaire which was sent to a random sample of physicians (n = 628) and the general population (n = 585). Respondents were asked to provide answers as to whether it is acceptable to discontinue ventilator treatment, and when it (...) actually is discontinued whether or not it was acceptable to use drugs which hasten death unintentionally or intentionally. The response rate was 67 % of physicians and 46 % of the general population. A majority of both physicians [56 % (CI 50–62)] and the general population [53 % (CI 49–58)] supported arguments for withdrawing ventilator treatment. A large majority in both groups supported arguments for alleviating the patient’s symptoms even if the treatment hastened death, but the two groups display significantly different views on whether or not to provide drugs with the additional intention of hastening death, although the difference disappeared when we compared subgroups of those who were for or against euthanasia-like actions. The study indicated that physicians and the general population have similar opinions regarding discontinuing life-sustaining treatment and providing effective drugs which might unintentionally hasten death but seem to have different views on intentions. The results might be helpful to physicians wanting to examine their own intentions when providing adequate treatment at the end of life. (shrink)
Whether or not an intentional explanation of action necessarily involves law-like statements is related to another question, namely, is it a causal explanation? The Popper–Hempel Thesis, which answers both questions affirmatively, inevitably faces a dilemma between realistic and universalistic requirements. However, in terms of W.C. Salmon’s concept of causal explanation, intentional explanation can be a causal one even if it does not rely on any laws. Based on this, we are able to refute three characteristic arguments for the (...) claim “reason is not a cause of action,” namely, the “proper logical” argument, the “logical relation” argument, and the “rule-following” argument. This rebuttal suggests that the causal relationship between reason and action can provide a justification for intentional explanations. (shrink)
Recent empirical work calls into question the so-called Simple View that an agent who A’s intentionally intends to A. In experimental studies, ordinary speakers frequently assent to claims that, in certain cases, agents who knowingly behave wrongly intentionally bring about the harm they do; yet the speakers tend to deny that it was the intention of those agents to cause the harm. This paper reports two additional studies that at first appear to support the original ones, but argues that in (...) fact, the evidence of all the studies considered is best understood in terms of the Simple View. (shrink)
The literature on collective action largely ignores the constraints that moral principle places on action-prompting intentions. Here I suggest that neither individualism nor holism can account for the generality of intentional contents demanded by universalizability principles, respect for persons, or proactive altruism. Utilitarian and communitarian ethics are criticized for nominalism with respect to social intentions. The failure of individualism and holism as grounds for moral theory is confirmed by comparing Tuomela's reductivist analysis of we-intentions with Gilbert's analysis of social (...) facts. Tuomela's account founders over intentions to cooperate, and Gilbert's cannot accommodate legitimate authority, vicarious agency, or group structure. (shrink)
Judging similarities among objects, events, and experiences is one of the most basic cognitive abilities, allowing us to make predictions and generalizations. The main assumption in similarity judgment is that people selectively attend to salient features of stimuli and judge their similarities on the basis of the common and distinct features of the stimuli. However, it is unclear how people select features from stimuli and how they weigh features. Here, we present a computational method that helps address these questions. Our (...) procedure combines image-processing techniques with a machine-learning algorithm and assesses feature weights that can account for both similarity and categorization judgment data. Our analysis suggests that a small number of local features are particularly important to explain our behavioral data. (shrink)