Intentional action and the praise-blame asymmetry

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

Abstract

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
185 (#69,887)

6 months
5 (#154,483)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Frank Hindriks
University of Groningen

References found in this work

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

View all 21 references / Add more references