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  1. Neither Moralists, nor Scientists: We Are Counterfactually Reasoning Animals.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):347-348.
    We are neither scientists nor moralists. Our mental capacities (such as attributing intentionality) are neither akin to the scientist's exact reasoning, nor are they (Knobe's target article, sect. 2.2, last para.). They are more similar to all those simple capacities that humans and animals are equally capable of, but with enhanced sensitivity to counterfactual situations: of what could have been.
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  • Morality or Modality?: What Does the Attribution of Intentionality Depend On?Bence Nanay - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):pp. 25-39.
    It has been argued that the attribution of intentional actions is sensitive to our moral judgment. I suggest an alternative, where the attribution of intentional actions depends on modal (and not moral) considerations. We judge a foreseen side-effect of an agent’s intentionally performed action to be intentional if the following modal claim is true: if she had not ignored considerations about the foreseen side-effect, her action might have been different (other things being equal). I go through the most important examples (...)
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  • On Doing Things Intentionally.Pierre Jacob, Cova Florian & Dupoux Emmanuel - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):378-409.
    Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb 'intentionally'. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb 'intentionally' has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors, including normative expectations. We argue that our hypotheses can account for most available data and present some new results that support this. We end by discussing the implications (...)
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  • Morality or Modality? What Does the Attribution of Intentionality Depend On?Bence Nanay - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):25-39.
    It has been argued that the attribution of intentional actions is sensitive to our moral judgment. I will examine these arguments and Suggest an alternative explanation for the experiments they are based on.Joshua Knobe conducted the following experiment to support this claim. Subjects were given two vignettes that differed only in one small detail and this difference influenced their attribution of intentionality. The first vignette was the following:The vice-president of a company went to the chairman of the board and said, (...)
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  • Judgment of Intentionality and Moral Evaluation in Individuals with High Functioning Autism.Tiziana Zalla & Marion Leboyer - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):681-698.
    In this study, we investigated the relationships between judgments of intentionality and moral evaluation in individuals with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS). HFA or AS are neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by severe deficits in communication and social functioning. Impairments in Theory of Mind (ToM), i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and to others, are thought to be the core features of autism. Of all mental states, the concept of ‘intentional action’ is particularly important. People normally (...)
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  • Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):297-314.
    Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
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  • Reversing the Side-Effect Effect: The Power of Salient Norms.Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):177-206.
    In the last decade, experimental philosophers have documented systematic asymmetries in the attributions of mental attitudes to agents who produce different types of side effects. We argue that this effect is driven not simply by the violation of a norm, but by salient-norm violation. As evidence for this hypothesis, we present two new studies in which two conflicting norms are present, and one or both of them is raised to salience. Expanding one’s view to these additional cases presents, we argue, (...)
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  • Knobe Vs Machery: Testing the Trade-Off Hypothesis.Ron Mallon - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (2):247-255.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe has established that people are far more likely to describe bad but foreseen side effects as intentionally performed than good but foreseen side effects (this is sometimes called the 'Knobe effect' or the 'side-effect effect.' Edouard Machery has proposed a novel explanation for this asymmetry: it results from construing the bad side effect as a cost that must be incurred to receive a benefit. In this paper, I argue that Machery's 'trade-off hypothesis' is wrong. I (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
    An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
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  • Intentional Action and Intending: Recent Empirical Studies.Hugh J. McCann - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (6):737-748.
    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 (...)
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  • The Ordinary Concept of Valuing.Joshua Knobe & Erica Preston-Roedder - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):131-147.
    This paper relates an empirical study demonstrating asymmetry in the concept of valuing.
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  • Virtue and Vice Attributions in the Business Context: An Experimental Investigation. [REVIEW]Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):649-661.
    Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side- effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present (...)
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  • Action Trees and Moral Judgment.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):555-578.
    It has sometimes been suggested that people represent the structure of action in terms of an action tree. A question now arises about the relationship between this action tree representation and people’s moral judgments. A natural hypothesis would be that people first construct a representation of the action tree and then go on to use this representation in making moral judgments. The present paper argues for a more complex view. Specifically, the paper reports a series of experimental studies that appear (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions, Asymmetry, and Intentional Side Effects.Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):214-219.
    An agent S wants to A and knows that if she A-s she will also bring about B. S does not care at all about B. S then A-s, also bringing about B. Did she intentionally bring B about? Joshua Knobe (2003b) has recently argued that, according to the folk concept of intentional action, the answer depends on B's moral significance. In particular, if B is reprehensible, people are more likely to say that S intentionally brought it about. Knobe defends (...)
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  • Intensity of Caring About an Action’s Side-Effect Mediates Attributions of Actor’s Intentions.Yu Liao, Yujia Sun, Hong Li, Gedeon O. Deák & Wenfeng Feng - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Explanation Classification Depends on Understanding: Extending the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.Daniel A. Wilkenfeld & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    Our goal in this paper is to experimentally investigate whether folk conceptions of explanation are psychologistic. In particular, are people more likely to classify speech acts as explanations when they cause understanding in their recipient? The empirical evidence that we present suggests this is so. Using the side-effect effect as a marker of mental state ascriptions, we argue that lay judgments of explanatory status are mediated by judgments of a speaker’s and/or audience’s mental states. First, we show that attributions of (...)
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  • Are Contingent Facts a Myth?A. A. Rini - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):424 - 431.
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  • Norms and the Knobe Effect.Richard Holton - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):1-8.
  • Surprising Connections Between Knowledge and Action: The Robustness of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.James R. Beebe & Mark Jensen - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):689 - 715.
    A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. (...)
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  • Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary capacities for understanding the world make use of much the same methods one might find in a formal scientific investigation. A series of recent experimental results offer a challenge to this widely-held view, suggesting that people’s moral judgments can actually influence the intuitions they hold both in folk psychology and in causal cognition. The present target article distinguishes two basic approaches to explaining such effects. One approach would be to say that the (...)
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  • A Knobe Effect for Belief Ascriptions.James R. Beebe - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):235-258.
    Knobe (Analysis 63:190-193, 2003a, Philosophical Psychology 16:309-324, 2003b, Analysis 64:181-187, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. Participants were found to be more likely to ascribe belief, higher degrees of belief, higher degrees (...)
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  • Gettierized Knobe Effects.James R. Beebe & Joseph Shea - 2013 - Episteme 10 (3):219-240.
    We report experimental results showing that participants are more likely to attribute knowledge in familiar Gettier cases when the would-be knowers are performing actions that are negative in some way (e.g. harmful, blameworthy, norm-violating) than when they are performing positive or neutral actions. Our experiments bring together important elements from the Gettier case literature in epistemology and the Knobe effect literature in experimental philosophy and reveal new insights into folk patterns of knowledge attribution.
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  • The Social Origin and Moral Nature of Human Thinking.Jeremy I. M. Carpendale, Stuart I. Hammond & Charlie Lewis - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):334.
    Knobe's laudable conclusion that we make sense of our social world based on moral considerations requires a development account of human thought and a theoretical framework. We outline a view that such a moral framework must be rooted in social interaction.
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  • The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.James R. Beebe & Wesley Buckwalter - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):474-498.
    Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It (...)
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  • Intentional Side-Effects of Action.Jonathan Webber & Robin Scaife - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):179-203.
    Recent empirical research into the folk classification of the outcomes of actions as intentional is usually taken to show that such classification has an irreducibly normative dimension. Various interpretations of the experimental data have in common the claim that whether the side-effect of an action counts as intentional depends on some normative valence of that side-effect.1 This is the way that Joshua Knobe, for example, whose experimental research started this debate, understands the data. Some critics of this view claim the (...)
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  • Intentionality, Evaluative Judgments, and Causal Structure.Jason Shepard & Wolff Phillip - 2013 - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society 35:3390-3395.
    The results from a number of recent studies suggest that ascriptions of intentionality are based on evaluative considerations: specifically, that the likelihood of viewing a person’s actions as intentional is greater when the outcome is bad than good (see Knobe, 2006, 2010). In this research we provide an alternative explanation for these findings, one based on the idea that ascriptions of intentionality depend on causal structure. As predicted by the causal structure view, we observed that actions leading to bad outcomes (...)
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  • Side-Effect Actions, Acting for a Reason, and Acting Intentionally.John Michael McGuire - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):317 - 333.
    What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and explain certain (...)
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  • Chairmen, Cocaine, and Car Crashes: The Knobe Effect as an Attribution Error.Hanno Sauer & Tom Bates - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):305-330.
    In this paper, we argue that the so-called Knobe-Effect constitutes an error. There is now a wealth of data confirming that people are highly prone to what has also come to be known as the ‘side-effect effect’. That is, when attributing psychological states—such as intentionality, foreknowledge, and desiring—as well as other agential features—such as causal control—people typically do so to a greater extent when the action under consideration is evaluated negatively. There are a plethora of models attempting to account for (...)
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  • The Ethical Dimension of Folk Psychology?Karsten R. Stueber - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (5):532-547.
  • Reactive Commitments: Reasoning Dialectically About Responsibility.David Botting - 2014 - Abstracta 8 (1):15-29.
    Philosophy has recently been presented with, and started to take seriously, sociological studies in which our ‘folk concepts’ are elaborated. The most interesting concepts studied are moral concepts, and results have been achieved that seem to sharply contradict the speculation of philosophers and to threaten the very way in which moral philosophy has been done in the past. In this paper, I consider certain results in empirical studies of the folk concept of responsibility. I will then sketch a version of (...)
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  • Projectivism Psychologized: The Philosophy and Psychology of Disgust.Daniel R. Kelly - unknown
    This dissertation explores issues in the philosophy of psychology and metaphysics through the lens of the emotion of disgust, and its corresponding property, disgustingness. The first chapter organizes an extremely large body of data about disgust, imposes two constraints any theory must meet, and offers a cognitive model of the mechanisms underlying the emotion. The second chapter explores the evolution of disgust, and argues for the Entanglement thesis: this uniquely human emotion was formed when two formerly distinct mechanisms, one dedicated (...)
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  • The Person as Moralist Account and its Alternatives.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):353-365.
    The commentators offer helpful suggestions at three levels: (1) explanations for the particular effects discussed in the target article; (2) implications of those effects for our understanding of the role of moral judgment in human cognition; and (3) more theoretical questions about the overall relationship between ordinary cognition and systematic science. The present response takes up these three issues in turn.
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  • The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Empirical Approaches.Florian Cova - forthcoming - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy.
    This paper provides a comprehensive review of the experimental philosophy of action, focusing on the various different accounts of the Knobe Effect.
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  • Moral Judgment as Information Processing: An Integrative Review.Steve Guglielmo - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Is the 'Trade-Off Hypothesis' Worth Trading For?Mark Phelan & Hagop Sarkissian - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (2):164-180.
    Abstract: Recently, the experimental philosopher Joshua Knobe has shown that the folk are more inclined to describe side effects as intentional actions when they bring about bad results. Edouard Machery has offered an intriguing new explanation of Knobe's work—the 'trade-off hypothesis'—which denies that moral considerations explain folk applications of the concept of intentional action. We critique Machery's hypothesis and offer empirical evidence against it. We also evaluate the current state of the debate concerning the concept of intentionality, and argue that, (...)
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  • Side-Effect Effect Without Side Effects: The Pervasive Impact of Moral Considerations on Judgments of Intentionality.Florian Cova & Hichem Naar - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):837-854.
    Studying the folk concept of intentional action, Knobe (2003a) discovered a puzzling asymmetry: most people consider some bad side effects as intentional while they consider some good side effects as unintentional. In this study, we extend these findings with new experiments. The first experiment shows that the very same effect can be found in ascriptions of intentionality in the case of means for action. The second and third experiments show that means are nevertheless generally judged more intentional than side effects, (...)
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  • Explanatory Unification in Experimental Philosophy: Let’s Keep It Real.Frank Hindriks - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):219-242.
    Experimental philosophers have discovered a large number of asymmetries in our intuitions about philosophically significant notions. Often those intuitions turned out to be sensitive to normative factors. Whereas optimists have insisted on a unified explanation of these findings, pessimists have argued that it is impossible to formulate a single factor explanation. I defend the intermediate position according to which unification is possible to some extent, but should be pursued within limits. The key issue that I address is how it is (...)
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  • Norms Inform Mental State Ascriptions: A Rational Explanation for the Side-Effect Effect.Kevin Uttich & Tania Lombrozo - 2010 - Cognition 116 (1):87–100.
    Theory of mind, the capacity to understand and ascribe mental states, has traditionally been conceptualized as analogous to a scientific theory. However, recent work in philosophy and psychology has documented a "side-effect effect" suggesting that moral evaluations influence mental state ascriptions, and in particular whether a behavior is described as having been performed 'intentionally.' This evidence challenges the idea that theory of mind is analogous to scientific psychology in serving the function of predicting and explaining, rather than evaluating, behavior. In (...)
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  • Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited.Shaun Nichols & Joseph Ulatowski - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (4):346–365.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe indicates that people’s intuition about whether an action was intentional depends on whether the outcome is good or bad. This paper argues that part of the explanation for this effect is that there are stable individual differences in how ‘intentional’ is interpreted. That is, in Knobe’s cases, different people interpret the term in different ways. This interpretive diversity of ‘intentional’ opens up a new avenue to help explain Knobe’s results. Furthermore, the paper argues that the (...)
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  • Normativity in Action: How to Explain the Knobe Effect and its Relatives.Frank Hindriks - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (1):51-72.
    Intuitions about intentional action have turned out to be sensitive to normative factors: most people say that an indifferent agent brings about an effect of her action intentionally when it is harmful, but unintentionally when it is beneficial. Joshua Knobe explains this asymmetry, which is known as ‘the Knobe effect’, in terms of the moral valence of the effect, arguing that this explanation generalizes to other asymmetries concerning notions as diverse as deciding and being free. I present an alternative explanation (...)
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  • The Ordinary Concept of Valuing.Joshua Knobe & Erica Roedder - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 131-147.
    The concept of valuing plays an important role in the way we think about people’s attitudes toward the things they care about most. We invoke this concept in sentences like: I value your friendship. We need to find a leader who truly values political equality. To live a good life, one must always return to the things one values most. Yet there also seem to be cases in which a person has a strong desire for a particular object but in (...)
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  • Do Bad People Know More? Interactions Between Attributions of Knowledge and Blame.James Beebe - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2633–2657.
    A central topic in experimental epistemology has been the ways that non-epistemic evaluations of an agent’s actions can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. Several scholars have found that the positive or negative valence of an action can influence attributions of knowledge to the agent. These evaluative effects on knowledge attributions are commonly seen as performance errors, failing to reflect individuals’ genuine conceptual competence with knows. In the present article, I report the results of (...)
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  • Objective and Epistemic Gradability: Is the New Angle on the Knobe Effect Empirically Grounded?Tomasz Zyglewicz & Bartosz Maćkiewicz - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (2):234-256.
    According to the New Angle, any explanation of the Knobe effect must be gradable and asymmetric. It has been argued that only Hindriks’ approach meets both criteria. First, we argue that Holton’s hypothesis also meets the criteria. Second, we show that the authors are not justified in taking the criteria to be empirically justified. We have failed to replicate the asymmetry result in two experiments. Moreover, gradability can be objective or epistemic. We show that the New Angle presupposes objective gradability. (...)
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  • Knowledge of Consequences: An Explanation of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.Katarzyna Paprzycka-Hausman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-34.
    The Knobe effect :190–194, 2003a) consists in our tendency to attribute intentionality to bringing about a side effect when it is morally bad but not when it is morally good. Beebe and Buckwalter have demonstrated that there is an epistemic side-effect effect : people are more inclined to attribute knowledge when the side effect is bad in Knobe-type cases. ESEE is quite robust. In this paper, I present a new explanation of ESEE. I argue that when people attribute knowledge in (...)
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  • The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.
    Shows that the very same asymmetries that arise for intentionally also arise from deciding, desiring, in favor of, opposed to, and advocating. It seems that the phenomenon is not due to anything about the concept of intentional action in particular. Rather, the effects observed for the concept of intentional action should be regarded as just one manifestation of the pervasive impact of moral judgment.
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  • Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action.Jennifer Cole Wright & John Bengson - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):24-50.
    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 (...)
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  • The Omissions Account of the Knobe Effect and the Asymmetry Challenge.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):550-571.
    The characteristic asymmetry in intentionality attributions that is known as the Knobe effect can be explained by conjoining an orthodox theory of intentional action with a normative account of intentional omission. On the latter view: omissions presuppose some normative context; there are good reasons why the intentionality of omissions requires agents' knowledge rather than intention. The asymmetry in intentionality attributions in Knobe's cases can be seen to be derivative from an asymmetry in intentional omissions. The omissions account further explains the (...)
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