By Arnold Kling
Edouard Machery, a philosopher of science at the University of Pittsburgh by way of the Sorbonne, told subjects about a man named Joe who visits the local smoothie shop and asks for the largest drink available. Joe is informed that the megasmoothies come in a special commemorative cup. He doesn’t care one way or the other about the cup. He just wants the megasmoothie. Did he get the commemorative cup intentionally? Most people said no. What if, instead, he’s informed that the megasmoothie has gone up in price and that he’ll have to pay an extra dollar for it? Joe doesn’t care about the extra dollar; he just wants the megasmoothie. Did he pay the extra dollar intentionally? Most people said yes. Machery concluded that foreseen side effects of our actions are taken to be intended when we conceive them as costs incurred for a benefit.
Behavioral economics is bad enough. Do we need behavioral philosophy?