Surprising connections between knowledge and action: The robustness of the epistemic side-effect effect

Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):689 - 715 (2012)
Authors
Mark Jensen
State University of New York, Buffalo
James R. Beebe
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
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. Our findings suggest there is good reason to think that the epistemic version of the Knobe effect is a theoretically significant and robust effect, and that the goodness or badness of side-effects can often have greater influence on participant knowledge attributions than explicit information about objective probabilities. Thus, our work sheds light on important ways in which participant assessments of actions can affect the epistemic assessments participants make of agents? beliefs
Keywords Experimental epistemology  Folk epistemology  Experimental philosophy  Knowledge  Epistemic side-effect  Knobe effect
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2011.622439
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Knobe Effect for Belief Ascriptions.James Beebe - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):235-258.
Skeptical Appeal: The Source‐Content Bias.John Turri - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):307-324.
Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):378-410.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

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