Intentional action and the frame-of-mind argument: new experimental challenges to Hindriks

Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):35-53 (2017)
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Based on a puzzling pattern in our judgements about intentional action, Knobe [. “Intentional Action and Side-Effects in Ordinary Language.” Analysis 63: 190–194] has claimed that these judgements are shaped by our moral judgements and evaluations. However, this claim goes directly against a key conceptual intuition about intentional action – the “frame-of-mind condition”, according to which judgements about intentional action are about the agent’s frame-of-mind and not about the moral value of his action. To preserve this intuition Hindriks [. “Intentional Action and the Praise-Blame Asymmetry.” The Philosophical Quarterly 58: 630–641;. “Normativity in Action: How to Explain the Knobe Effect and its Relatives.” Mind & Language 29: 51–72] has proposed an alternate account of the Knobe Effect. According to his “Normative Reason account of Intentional Action”, a side-effect counts as intentional only when the agent thought it constituted a normative reason not to act but did not care. In...

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Florian Cova
University of Geneva