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Intervention, Bias, Responsibility… and the Trolley Problem

Sytsma, Justin and Livengood, Jonathan (2016) Intervention, Bias, Responsibility… and the Trolley Problem. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, we consider three competing explanations of the empirical finding that people’s causal attributions are responsive to normative details, such as whether an agent’s action violated an injunctive norm—the intervention view, the bias view, and the responsibility view. We then present new experimental evidence concerning a type of case not previously investigated in the literature. In the switch version of the trolley problem, people judge that the bystander ought to flip the switch, but they also judge that she is more responsible for the resulting outcome when she does so than when she refrains. And, as predicted by the responsibility view, but not the intervention or bias views, people are more likely to say that the bystander caused the outcome when she flips the switch.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Sytsma, Justin
Livengood, Jonathan
Keywords: actual causation, responsibility, intervention, bias, trolley problem
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2016 03:00
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2016 03:00
Item ID: 12283
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Date: July 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12283

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