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  1. Free Will and Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Saul Smilansky presents an original new approach to the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and self-understanding. He maintains that the key to the problem is the role played by illusion. Smilansky boldly claims that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about human freedom and that illusion lies at the center of the human condition.
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  • I Could Not Have Done Otherwise-So What?Daniel C. Dennett - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (10):553-565.
    Peter van Inwagen notes: "... almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition for holding an agent responsible for an act is believing that the agent could have refrained from performing that act." Perhaps van Inwagen is right; perhaps most philosophers agree on this. If so, this shared assumption, which I will call CDO (for "could have done otherwise"), is a good candidate for denial, especially since there turns out to be so little to be said in support of it, (...)
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  • Responsibility, Luck, and Chance.Robert Kane - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):217-240.
    Consider the following principle: (LP) If an action is undetermined at a time t, then its happening rather than not happening at t would be a matter of chance or luck, and so it could not be a free and responsible action. This principle (which we may call the luck principle, or simply LP) is false, as I shall explain shortly. Yet it seems true.
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  • Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
    Much of the philosophical literature on causation has focused on the concept of actual causation, sometimes called token causation. In particular, it is this notion of actual causation that many philosophical theories of causation have attempted to capture.2 In this paper, we address the question: what purpose does this concept serve? As we shall see in the next section, one does not need this concept for purposes of prediction or rational deliberation. What then could the purpose be? We will argue (...)
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  • Bringing Moral Responsibility Down to Earth.Adina L. Roskies & Shaun Nichols - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):371-388.
    Thought experiments have played a central role in philosophical methodology, largely as a means of elucidating the nature of our concepts and the implications of our theories.1 Particular attention is given to widely shared “folk” intuitions – the basic untutored intuitions that the layperson has about philosophical questions.2 The folk intuition is meant to underlie our core metaphysical concepts, and philosophical analysis is meant to explicate or sometimes refine these naïve concepts. Consistency with the deliverances of folk intuitions is a (...)
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  • Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
    It is my view that one essential difference between persons and other creatures is to be found in the structure of a person's will. Besides wanting and choosing and being moved to do this or that, men may also want to have certain desires and motives. They are capable of wanting to be different, in their preferences and purposes, from what they are. Many animals appear to have the capacity for what I shall call "first-order desires" or "desires of the (...)
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  • What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree?Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):563-593.
    Incompatibilists and compatibilists (mostly) agree that there is a strong intuition that a manipulated agent, i.e., an agent who is the victim of methods such as indoctrination or brainwashing, is unfree. They differ however on why exactly this intuition arises. Incompatibilists claim our intuitions in these cases are sensitive to the manipulated agent’s lack of ultimate control over her actions, while many compatibilists argue that our intuitions respond to damage inflicted by manipulation on the agent’s psychological and volitional capacities. Much (...)
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  • Free Will, Causes, and Decisions: Individual Differences in Written Reports.Adam Feltz, A. Perez & M. Harris - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (9-10):166-189.
    We present evidence indicating new individual differences with people's intuitions about the relation of determinism to freedom and moral responsibility. We analysed participants' written explanations of why a person acted. Participants offered one of either 'decision' or 'causal' based explanations of behaviours in some paradigmatic cases. Those who gave causal explanations tended to have more incompatibilist intuitions than those who gave decision explanations. Importantly, the affective content of a scenario influenced the type of explanation given. Scenarios containing highly affective actions (...)
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  • Free Will: A Philosophical Study.Laura W. Ekstrom - 1999 - Westview.
    In this comprehensive new study of human free agency, Laura Waddell Ekstrom critically surveys contemporary philosophical literature and provides a novel account of the conditions for free action. Ekstrom argues that incompatibilism concerning free will and causal determinism is true and thus the right account of the nature of free action must be indeterminist in nature. She examines a variety of libertarian approaches, ultimately defending an account relying on indeterministic causation among events and appealing to agent causation only in a (...)
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  • Judgments About Moral Responsibility and Determinism in Patients with Behavioural Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia: Still Compatibilists.Florian Cova, Maxime Bertoux, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Bruno Dubois - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):851-864.
    Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a ‘performance error model’ according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Harvard University Press.
    R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he (...)
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  • Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Mechanism: Experiments on Folk Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias, D. Justin Coates & Trevor Kvaran - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):214–242.
    In this paper we discuss studies that show that most people do not find determinism to be incompatible with free will and moral responsibility if determinism is described in a way that does not suggest mechanistic reductionism. However, if determinism is described in a way that suggests reductionism, that leads people to interpret it as threatening to free will and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the philosophical debates about free will, moral responsibility, and determinism.
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  • Do We Have a Coherent Set of Intuitions About Moral Responsibility?Dana K. Nelkin - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):243–259.
    I believe that the data is both fascinating and instructive, but in this paper I will resist the conclusion that we must give up Invariantism, or, as I prefer to call it, Unificationism. In the process of examining the challenging data and responding to it, I will try to draw some larger lessons about how to use the kind of data being collected. First, I will provide a brief description of some influential theories of responsibility, and then explain the threat (...)
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  • The Explanatory Component of Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Karl Persson - 2012 - Noûs 46 (2):326-354.
    In this paper, we do three things. First, we put forth a novel hypothesis about judgments of moral responsibility according to which such judgments are a species of explanatory judgments. Second, we argue that this hypothesis explains both some general features of everyday thinking about responsibility and the appeal of skeptical arguments against moral responsibility. Finally, we argue that, if correct, the hypothesis provides a defense against these skeptical arguments.
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  • Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
    An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
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  • Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary capacities for understanding the world make use of much the same methods one might find in a formal scientific investigation. A series of recent experimental results offer a challenge to this widely-held view, suggesting that people’s moral judgments can actually influence the intuitions they hold both in folk psychology and in causal cognition. The present target article distinguishes two basic approaches to explaining such effects. One approach would be to say that the (...)
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  • Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
    Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...)
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  • The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy on Free Will: An Error Theory for Incompatibilist Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias & Dylan Murray - 2010 - In Jesus Aguilar, Andrei Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 189--215.
    We discuss recent work in experimental philosophy on free will and moral responsibility and then present a new study. Our results suggest an error theory for incompatibilist intuitions. Most laypersons who take determinism to preclude free will and moral responsibility apparently do so because they mistakenly interpret determinism to involve fatalism or “bypassing” of agents’ relevant mental states. People who do not misunderstand determinism in this way tend to see it as compatible with free will and responsibility. We discuss why (...)
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  • Identification, Situational Constraint, and Social Cognition: Studies in the Attribution of Moral Responsibility.Robert L. Woolfolk, John M. Doris & John M. Darley - 2006 - Cognition 100 (2):283-301.
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  • Joint Responsibility Without Individual Control: Applying the Explanation Hypothesis.Gunnar Björnsson - 2011 - In Jeroen van den Hoven, Ibo van de Poel & Nicole Vincent (eds.), Moral Responsibility: beyond free will and determinism. Springer.
    This paper introduces a new family of cases where agents are jointly morally responsible for outcomes over which they have no individual control, a family that resists standard ways of understanding outcome responsibility. First, the agents in these cases do not individually facilitate the outcomes and would not seem individually responsible for them if the other agents were replaced by non-agential causes. This undermines attempts to understand joint responsibility as overlapping individual responsibility; the responsibility in question is essentially joint. Second, (...)
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  • Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):543-545.
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  • Causation in the Law.F. S. McNeilly - 1962 - Philosophical Quarterly 12 (46):92-94.
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  • Is Belief in Free Will a Cultural Universal?Hagop Sarkissian, Amita Chatterjee, Felipe de Brigard, Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols & Smita Sirker - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (3):346-358.
    Recent experimental research has revealed surprising patterns in people's intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. One limitation of this research, however, is that it has been conducted exclusively on people from Western cultures. The present paper extends previous research by presenting a cross-cultural study examining intuitions about free will and moral responsibility in subjects from the United States, Hong Kong, India and Colombia. The results revealed a striking degree of cross-cultural convergence. In all four cultural groups, the majority of (...)
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  • The Varieties of Retributive Experience.Christopher Bennett - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):145-163.
    Retribution is often dismissed as augmenting the initial harm done, rather than ameliorating it. This criticism rests on a crude view of retribution. In our actual practice in informal situations and in the workings of the reactive (properly called 'retributive') sentiments, retribution is true to the gravity of wrongdoing, but does aim to ameliorate it. Through wrongdoing, offenders become alienated from the moral community: their actions place their commitment to its core values in doubt. We recognize this status in blaming, (...)
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  • Responsibility.Joshua Knobe & John M. Doris - 2010 - In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    A great deal of fascinating research has gone into an attempt to uncover the fundamental criteria that people use when assigning moral responsibility. Nonetheless, it seems that most existing accounts fall prey to one counterexample or another. The underlying problem, we suggest, is that there simply isn't any single system of criteria that people apply in all cases of responsibility attribution. Instead, it appears that people use quite different criteria in different kinds of cases. [This paper was originally circulated under (...)
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  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on (...)
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  • Causation in the Law.F. S. McNeilly - 1959 - Philosophy 37 (139):83-84.
    An updated and extended second edition supporting the findings of its well-known predecessor which claimed that courts employ common-sense notions of causation in determining legal responsibility.
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  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):459-466.
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  • Living Without Free Will.Carl Ginet - 2002 - The Journal of Ethics 6 (3):305-309.
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  • Responsibility and the Brain Sciences.Felipe De Brigard, Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):511-524.
    Some theorists think that the more we get to know about the neural underpinnings of our behaviors, the less likely we will be to hold people responsible for their actions. This intuition has driven some to suspect that as neuroscience gains insight into the neurological causes of our actions, people will cease to view others as morally responsible for their actions, thus creating a troubling quandary for our legal system. This paper provides empirical evidence against such intuitions. Particularly, our studies (...)
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  • On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible.Angela M. Smith - 2007 - Journal of Ethics 11 (4):465-484.
    A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...)
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  • How Effects Depend on Their Causes, Why Causal Transitivity Fails, and Why We Care About Causation.Gunnar Björnsson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):349-390.
    Despite recent efforts to improve on counterfactual theories of causation, failures to explain how effects depend on their causes are still manifest in a variety of cases. In particular, theories that do a decent job explaining cases of causal preemption have problems accounting for cases of causal intransitivity. Moreover, the increasing complexity of the counterfactual accounts makes it difficult to see why the concept of causation would be such a central part of our cognition. In this paper, I propose an (...)
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  • The Two Faces of Revenge: Moral Responsibility and the Culture of Honor.Tamler Sommers - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (1):35-50.
    Retributive emotions and behavior are thought to be adaptive for their role in improving social coordination. However, since retaliation is generally not in the short-term interests of the individual, rational self-interest erodes the motivational link between retributive emotions and the accompanying adaptive behavior. I argue that two different sets of norms have emerged to reinforce this link: (1) norms about honor and (2) norms about moral responsibility and desert. I observe that the primary difference between these types of retribution motivators (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility Invariantism.Brandon Warmke - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):179-200.
    Moral responsibility invariantism is the view that there is a single set of conditions for being morally responsible for an action (or omission or consequence of an act or omission) that applies in all cases. I defend this view against some recent arguments by Joshua Knobe and John Doris.
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  • Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Most people assume that, even though some degenerative or criminal behavior may be caused by influences beyond our control, ordinary human actions are not similarly generated, but rather are freely chosen, and we can be praiseworthy or blameworthy for them. A less popular and more radical claim is that factors beyond our control produce all of the actions we perform. It is this hard determinist stance that Derk Pereboom articulates in Living Without Free Will. Pereboom argues that our best scientific (...)
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  • Causation in the Law.H. L. A. Hart & Tony Honoré - 1959 - Oxford University Press UK.
    An updated and extended second edition supporting the findings of its well-known predecessor which claimed that courts employ common-sense notions of causation in determining legal responsibility.
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  • Free Will and the Burden of Proof.William G. Lycan - 2003 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 107-122.
    (3) A compatibilist needs to explain how free will can co-exist with determinism, paradigmatically by offering an analysis of ‘free’ action that is demonstrably compatible with determinism. (Here is the late Roderick Chisholm, in defense of irreducible or libertarian agent-causation: ‘Now if you can analyze such statements as “Jones killed his uncle” into event-causation statements, then you may have earned the right to make jokes about the agent as cause. But if you haven’t done this, and if all the same (...)
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  • Responsibility, Luck, and Chance: Reflections on Free Will and Indeterminism.Robert Kane - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
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  • Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2003 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language.J. Knobe - 2003 - Analysis 63 (3):190-194.
    There has been a long-standing dispute in the philosophical literature about the conditions under which a behavior counts as 'intentional.' Much of the debate turns on questions about the use of certain words and phrases in ordinary language. The present paper investigates these questions empirically, using experimental techniques to investigate people's use of the relevant words and phrases. g.
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  • Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will.Shaun Nichols - 2011 - Science 331 (6023):1401-1403.
    Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimental philosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say that determinism (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Free Will.Tamler Sommers - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (2):199-212.
    This paper develops a sympathetic critique of recent experimental work on free will and moral responsibility. Section 1 offers a brief defense of the relevance of experimental philosophy to the free will debate. Section 2 reviews a series of articles in the experimental literature that probe intuitions about the "compatibility question"—whether we can be free and morally responsible if determinism is true. Section 3 argues that these studies have produced valuable insights on the factors that influence our judgments on the (...)
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  • The Collected Works of Spinoza.The Ethics and Selected Letters.Edwin Curley, Baruch Spinoza, Samuel Shirley & Seymour Feldman - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):306-311.
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  • Free Will.Galen Strawson - 1998 - In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
    ‘Free will’ is the conventional name of a topic that is best discussed without reference to the will. It is a topic in metaphysics and ethics as much as in the philosophy of mind. Its central questions are ‘What is it to act (or choose) freely?’, and ‘What is it to be morally responsible for one’s actions (or choices)?’ These two questions are closely connected, for it seems clear that freedom of action is a necessary condition of moral responsibility, even (...)
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  • I Could Not Have Done Otherwise--So What?Daniel C. Dennett - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (10):553-565.
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  • Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):308-310.
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  • Freedom and Belief.Galen Strawson - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
    On the whole, we continue to believe firmly both that we have free will and that we are morally responsible for what we do. Here, the author argues that there is a fundamental sense in which there is no such thing as free will or true moral responsibility (as ordinarily understood). Devoting the main body of his book to an attempt to explain why we continue to believe as we do, Strawson examines various aspects of the "cognitive phenomenology" of freedom--the (...)
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  • The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.
    Shows that the very same asymmetries that arise for intentionally also arise from deciding, desiring, in favor of, opposed to, and advocating. It seems that the phenomenon is not due to anything about the concept of intentional action in particular. Rather, the effects observed for the concept of intentional action should be regarded as just one manifestation of the pervasive impact of moral judgment.
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