Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):630-641 (2008)

Frank Hindriks
University of Groningen
Recent empirical research by Joshua Knobe has uncovered two asymmetries in judgements about intentional action and moral responsibility. First, people are more inclined to say that a side effect was brought about intentionally when they regard that side effect as bad than when they regard it as good. Secondly, people are more inclined to ascribe blame to someone for bad effects than they are inclined to ascribe praise for good effects. These findings suggest that the notion of intentional action has a normative component. I propose a theory of intentional action on which one acts intentionally if one fails to be motivated to avoid a bad effect. This explains the asymmetry concerning intentional action. The praise–blame asymmetry is explained in terms of the claim that praise depends on being appropriately motivated, whereas blame does not.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.551.x
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References found in this work BETA

Practical Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1997 - In Alfred R. Mele (ed.), Review of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 431--63.
Two Faces of Intention.Michael Bratman - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):375-405.

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Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking.John Turri & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.

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