Thanks for helpful comments to Gregory Currie, Josh Knobe, Ron Mallon, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Steve Stich, Liane Young, the readers of the blog Experimental Philosophy (http://experimentalphilosophy.typepad.com/) as well as two anonymous reviewers. Thanks also to my research assistant on this project, Julie Sokolow, for her help and her comments.
The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Philosophical and Experimental Issues
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
© 2008 The Author
Mind & Language
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 165–189, April 2008
How to Cite
MACHERY, E. (2008), The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Philosophical and Experimental Issues. Mind & Language, 23: 165–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00336.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
Abstract: Recent experimental findings by Knobe and others (Knobe, 2003; Nadelhoffer, 2006b; Nichols and Ulatowski, 2007) have been at the center of a controversy about the nature of the folk concept of intentional action. I argue that the significance of these findings has been overstated. My discussion is two-pronged. First, I contend that barring a consensual theory of conceptual competence, the significance of these experimental findings for the nature of the concept of intentional action cannot be determined. Unfortunately, the lack of progress in the philosophy of concepts casts doubt on whether such a consensual theory will be found. Second, I propose a new, deflationary interpretation of these experimental findings, ‘the trade-off hypothesis’, and I present several new experimental findings that support this interpretation.