I've been thinking some about one of the discussions of mine shaft cases from RoME. In particular, I've been trying to make sense of the "second grade of immoral involvement". The suggestion was that in a certain version of a mine shaft case where the subject had calculated that the best option was A, forgot whether it was A or B, remembered that one of these would be disastrous, the 'good agent' might just do C knowing that either A or B is the right thing to do. That seems fine, I suppose, but what distinguishes the "first" from "second" grade of immoral involvement is that the agent knowingly chooses an option that is the option she shouldn't choose and seems not to be morally blameworthy for so doing. Or so the suggestion went.
The question I had went something like this. While some of us are willing to swallow the idea that the method that a morally responsible agent can diverge from the principles that determine whether the agent does what she should do or acts rightly, there's got to be some way to describe the psychology of the agent who does C because she knows that she doesn't know whether it is A or B that she should do but knows that it is either A or B that she should do.
Intuitively, it seems that the agent who follows the method knowing that it will lead her to do what she oughtn't is nevertheless rational and morally responsible for doing C. But, and here's the puzzle, it seems that she can't judge rationally:
(1) I should do C.
She can't because she also knows.
(2) It is either A or B that I should do but I don't know which and one of these is quite bad.
Obviously, you can't rationally believe:
(3) (1) & (2).
What about the intention to do C? I take it that the morally responsible agent intends to do C. Does she intend to do so rationally? It seems so, but then it looks like this is her psychology:
(4) I intend to do C but I should do A or B.
If that 'should' is the should of full practical rationality, I don't see how (4) could be a rational attitude since among the things the agent would seem to think if (4) is her attitude is:
(5) I intend to do C but I shouldn't, I should do something else.
That's weird because that seems as irrational as (3).