Thanks to Jonathan Dancy, Shaun Nichols, Mark Phelan, George Sher, Ed Sherline, and especially Joshua Knobe for helpful comments and discussion. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for Mind & Language, as well as audiences and commentators at the 2006 Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference and 2007 Central APA. Finally, we wish to thank Christin Covello, Jerry Cullum, Bill Devlin, and Piper Grandjean for assistance with data collection/entry.
Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 24–50, February 2009
How to Cite
COLE WRIGHT, J. and BENGSON, J. (2009), Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action. Mind & Language, 24: 24–50. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2008.01352.x
- Issue published online: 21 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2009
Abstract: Recent experimental research on the ‘Knobe effect’ suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations. We defend a novel account of this phenomenon that exploits two factors: (i) an intuitive asymmetry in judgments of responsibility (e.g. praise/blame) and (ii) the fact that intentionality commonly connects the evaluative status of actions to the responsibility of actors. We present the results of several new studies that provide empirical evidence in support of this account while disconfirming various currently prominent alternative accounts. We end by discussing some implications of this account for folk psychology.