New paper in Scientific Reports

January 17, 2024

Are epistemic actions subject to moral evaluation? At first sight, no: their intended consequences are on beliefs, not on the welfare of others. But in fact, yes: People do express moral disapproval by saying things like: “you should have checked!”.

Katarina, Francesca and Christophe published 'The importance of epistemic action in ascription of responsibility'

The paper investigates in what conditions an epistemic intention—or its absence—is a basis for responsibility ascription. It argues that ascription of responsibility results from counterfactual thinking that reveals what alternative intentions would have caused a better outcome. Sometime, the relevant alternative intention is epistemic. Caring for others sometimes implies paying attention to information with which to make better—more prosocial—choices.