Intention, temporal order, and moral judgments

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The traditional philosophical doctrine of double effect claims that agents' intentions affect whether acts are morally wrong. Our behavioral study reveals that agents' intentions do affect whether acts are judged morally wrong, whereas the temporal order of good and bad effects affects whether acts are classified as killings. This finding suggests that the moral judgments are not based on the classifications. Our results also undermine recent claims that prior moral judgments determine whether agents are seen as causing effects intentionally rather than as side effects. © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sinnott-Armstrong, W; Mallon, R; McCoy, T; Hull, JG

Published Date

  • February 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 90 - 106

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-0017

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0268-1064

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00330.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus