Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):1012-1025 (2015)

Lilian O'Brien
University of Helsinki
Joshua Knobe's work has marshaled considerable support for the hypothesis that everyday judgments of whether an action is intentional are systematically influenced by evaluations of the action or agent. The main source of evidence for this hypothesis is a series of surveys that involve an agent either helping or harming something as a side effect. Respondents are much more likely to judge the side effect intentional if harm is involved. It is a remarkable feature of the discussion so far that it assumes without scrutiny that the substitution of one act-type for another could not, taken alone, explain the difference in responses that the two scenarios yield. This paper presents evidence, both experimental and conceptual, that it is precisely this difference that explains the asymmetry in responses. Briefly, agents who token the act-type help must fulfill certain psychological conditions that they don't have to fulfill if they are to token the act-type harm. Harming, unlike helping, does not require the ful..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2014.968917
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,682
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Rise and Fall of Experimental Philosophy.Antti Kauppinen - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):95 – 118.
The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Qualitative Tools and Experimental Philosophy.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1128-1141.
The Asymmetry of Good and Evil.Philip Pettit - 2015 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. pp. 15-37.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Action, Attitude, and the Knobe Effect: Another Asymmetry.Joshua Shepherd - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):171-185.
Knobe Vs Machery: Testing the Trade-Off Hypothesis.Ron Mallon - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (2):247-255.
Unintentionally Biasing the Data: Reply to Knobe.Roblin R. Meeks - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):220-223.
Folk Intuitions, Asymmetry, and Intentional Side Effects.Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):214-219.
Intentional Action and the Praise-Blame Asymmetry.Frank Hindriks - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):630-641.
Explaining the Knobe Effect.Verena Wagner - 2014 - In Christoph Luetge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 65-79.


Added to PP index

Total views
59 ( #161,715 of 2,349,533 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #99,471 of 2,349,533 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes