In Christoph Luetge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 65-79 (2014)

Verena Wagner
Universität Konstanz
In this paper I reject the view that the famous ‘Knobe effect’ reveals an asymmetry within people’s judgments concerning actions with good or bad side effects. I agree with interpretations that see the ascriptions made by survey subjects as moral judgments rather than ascriptions of intentionality. On this basis, I aim at providing an explanation as to why people are right in blaming and ‘expraising’ agents that acted on unacceptable motives, but praise and excuse agents who meet intersubjective expectations by acting on acceptable motives. The asymmetry only arises when blameworthiness and praiseworthiness are seen as instances of one and the same concept: moral responsibility. This analysis is backed by a study of Joshua Shepherd who extended and varied Knobe’s original vignettes.
Keywords Knobe effect  praise  blame  praise blame asymmetry  side-effect effect  moral responsibility  expraise  intentionality ascription
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The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment.Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.

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