Cognitive Science 38 (8):1320-1347 (2014)

Authors
Jonathan Phillips
Dartmouth College
Abstract
The present studies investigate how the intentions of third parties influence judgments of moral responsibility for other agents who commit immoral acts. Using cases in which an agent acts under some situational constraint brought about by a third party, we ask whether the agent is blamed less for the immoral act when the third party intended for that act to occur. Study 1 demonstrates that third-party intentions do influence judgments of blame. Study 2 finds that third-party intentions only influence moral judgments when the agent's actions precisely match the third party's intention. Study 3 shows that this effect arises from changes in participants' causal perception that the third party was controlling the agent. Studies 4 and 5, respectively, show that the effect cannot be explained by changes in the distribution of blame or perceived differences in situational constraint faced by the agent
Keywords Morality  Causation  Causal chains  Intention  Manipulation
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12194
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References found in this work BETA

Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.David Hume - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

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