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Volume 49 • Number 4

October 2012




by Alfred R. Mele

There are intentional actions and unintentional actions. Do we ever perform actions that are neither intentional nor unintentional? Some philosophers have answered "yes" (Mele 1992; Mele and Moser 1994; Mele and Sverdlik 1996; Lowe 1978; Wasserman, forthcoming). That is, they have claimed that there is a middle ground between intentional and unintentional human actions.1 Motivation for this claim is generated by attention to a variety of issues, including two that are of special interest to experimental philosophers of action: the status of side-effect actions, and the status of actions that are instances of luckily succeeding in doing something one is trying to do. This article explores the idea that there is a middle ground between intentional and unintentional human actions, paying special attention to the two issues just identified. The exploration is partly theoretical and partly empirical. Section 2 reports the results of two new studies designed to yield evidence about whether and to what extent nonspecialists recognize this middle ground.

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ISSN: 2152-1123