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Scepticism and Implicit Bias

Disputatio 5 (37):243-263 (2013)

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  1. The Value of Epistemic Justice.V. Hari Narayanan & Akhil Kumar Singh - 2022 - Journal of Human Values 28 (3):200-208.
    The notion of epistemic injustice has become an important topic of inquiry in recent times. It refers to the injustice committed to a person when her claim to knowledge is not given due consideration. This article argues that there are two major sources of epistemic injustice: One is the dominating tendencies present in us, and the other is susceptibility to cognitive biases and distortions. When societies become more complex, injustice increases and one can see countless instances of epistemic injustice in (...)
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  • Argument From Personal Narrative: A Case Study of Rachel Moran's Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution.Katherine Dormandy - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (3):601-620.
    Personal narratives can let us in on aspects of reality which we have not experienced for ourselves, and are thus important sources for philosophical reflection. Yet a venerable tradition in mainstream philosophy has little room for arguments which rely on personal narrative, on the grounds that narratives are particular and testimonial, whereas philosophical arguments should be systematic and transparent. I argue that narrative arguments are an important form of philosophical argument. Their testimonial aspects witness to novel facets of reality, but (...)
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  • Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Implicit bias” is a term of art referring to relatively unconscious and relatively automatic features of prejudiced judgment and social behavior. While psychologists in the field of “implicit social cognition” study “implicit attitudes” toward consumer products, self-esteem, food, alcohol, political values, and more, the most striking and well-known research has focused on implicit attitudes toward members of socially stigmatized groups, such as African-Americans, women, and the LGBTQ community.[1] For example, imagine Frank, who explicitly believes that women and men are equally (...)
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  • Epistemic Duty and Implicit Bias.Lindsay Rettler & Bradley Rettler - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain & Scott Stapleford (eds.), Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge.
    In this chapter, we explore whether agents have an epistemic duty to eradicate implicit bias. Recent research shows that implicit biases are widespread and they have a wide variety of epistemic effects on our doxastic attitudes. First, we offer some examples and features of implicit biases. Second, we clarify what it means to have an epistemic duty, and discuss the kind of epistemic duties we might have regarding implicit bias. Third, we argue that we have an epistemic duty to eradicate (...)
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  • The Moral and Political Status of Microaggressions.Heather Stewart - unknown
    This dissertation offers a robust philosophical examination of a phenomenon that is morally, socially, and politically significant – microaggressions. Microaggressions are understood to be brief and routine verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities that, whether intentional or unintentional, convey hostility toward or bias against members of marginalized groups. Microaggressions are rooted in stereotypes and/or bias and are connected to broader systems of oppression. Microaggressions are philosophically interesting, since they involve significant ambiguity, questions about speech and communication, and the ability for our (...)
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  • Evidence and Bias.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen Aarnio (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence.
    I argue that evidentialism should be rejected because it cannot be reconciled with empirical work on bias in cognitive and social psychology.
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  • Harmful Salience Perspectives.Ella Whiteley - 2022 - In Sophie Archer (ed.), Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. Chapter 11.
    Consider a terrible situation that too many women find themselves in: 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales alone every year. Many of these women do not bring their cases to trial. There are multiple reasons that they might not want to testify in the courts. The incredibly low conviction rate is one. Another reason, however, might be that these women do not want the fact that they were raped to become the most salient thing about them. More specifically, (...)
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  • Cognitive Bias, Scepticism and Understanding.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2017 - In Stephen R. Grimm, Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives From Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. pp. 272-292.
    In recent work, Mark Alfano and Jennifer Saul have put forward a similar kind of provocative sceptical challenge. Both appeal to recent literature in empirical psychology to show that our judgments across a wide range of cases are riddled with unreliable cognitive heuristics and biases. Likewise, they both conclude that we know a lot less than we have hitherto supposed, at least on standard conceptions of what knowledge involves. It is argued that even if one grants the empirical claims that (...)
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  • The Radical Behavioral Challenge and Wide-Scope Obligations in Business.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 177 (3):507-517.
    This paper responds to the Radical Behavioral Challenge to normative business ethics. According to RBC, recent research on bounded ethicality shows that it is psychologically impossible for people to follow the prescriptions of normative business ethics. Thus, said prescriptions run afoul of the principle that nobody has an obligation to do something that they cannot do. I show that the only explicit response to this challenge in the business ethics literature is flawed because it limits normative business ethics to condemning (...)
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  • Intuitions, Biases, and Extra‐Wide Reflective Equilibrium.Samuel Director - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (5):674-684.
    It seems that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. Yet, there is evidence that our intuitions are heavily influenced by biases. This generates a puzzle: we must use our intuitions, but we seemingly cannot fully trust those very intuitions. In this paper, I develop a methodology for philosophical theorizing which attempts to avoid this puzzle. Specifically, I develop and defend a methodology that I call Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium. I argue that this method allows us to use intuitions, while also providing (...)
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  • Education’s Epistemology: Rationality, Diversity, and Critical Thinking. By Harvey Siegel. Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. Xiv. + 296. [REVIEW]Kunimasa Sato - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):190-194.
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  • Skepticism, Fallibilism, and Rational Evaluation.Michael Hannon - 2021 - In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered. Routledge.
    This paper outlines a new type of skepticism that is both compatible with fallibilism and supported by work in psychology. In particular, I will argue that we often cannot properly trust our ability to rationally evaluate reasons, arguments, and evidence (a fundamental knowledge-seeking faculty). We humans are just too cognitively impaired to achieve even fallible knowledge, at least for many beliefs.
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  • Implicit Bias, Ideological Bias, and Epistemic Risks in Philosophy.Uwe Peters - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (3):393-419.
    It has been argued that implicit biases are operative in philosophy and lead to significant epistemic costs in the field. Philosophers working on this issue have focussed mainly on implicit gender and race biases. They have overlooked ideological bias, which targets political orientations. Psychologists have found ideological bias in their field and have argued that it has negative epistemic effects on scientific research. I relate this debate to the field of philosophy and argue that if, as some studies suggest, the (...)
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  • Epistemology without guidance.Nick Hughes - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):163-196.
    Epistemologists often appeal to the idea that a normative theory must provide useful, usable, guidance to argue for one normative epistemology over another. I argue that this is a mistake. Guidance considerations have no role to play in theory choice in epistemology. I show how this has implications for debates about the possibility and scope of epistemic dilemmas, the legitimacy of idealisation in Bayesian epistemology, uniqueness versus permissivism, sharp versus mushy credences, and internalism versus externalism.
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  • Bias and Interpersonal Skepticism.Robert Pasnau - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):154-175.
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  • ‘I Love Women’: An Explicit Explanation of Implicit Bias Test Results.Reis-Dennis Samuel & Vida Yao - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):13861-13882.
    Recent years have seen a surge of interest in implicit bias. Driving this concern is the thesis, apparently established by tests such as the IAT, that people who hold egalitarian explicit attitudes and beliefs, are often influenced by implicit mental processes that operate independently from, and are largely insensitive to, their explicit attitudes. We argue that implicit bias testing in social and empirical psychology does not, and without a fundamental shift in focus could not, establish this startling thesis. We suggest (...)
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  • Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Jules Holroyd - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3).
    Research programs in empirical psychology from the past two decades have revealed implicit biases. Although implicit processes are pervasive, unavoidable, and often useful aspects of our cognitions, they may also lead us into error. The most problematic forms of implicit cognition are those which target social groups, encoding stereotypes or reflecting prejudicial evaluative hierarchies. Despite intentions to the contrary, implicit biases can influence our behaviours and judgements, contributing to patterns of discriminatory behaviour. These patterns of discrimination are obviously wrong and (...)
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  • What is Implicit Bias?Jules Holroyd, Robin Scaife & Tom Stafford - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12437.
    Research programs in empirical psychology over the past few decades have led scholars to posit implicit biases. This is due to the development of innovative behavioural measures that have revealed aspects of our cognitions which may not be identified on self-report measures requiring individuals to reflect on and report their attitudes and beliefs. But what does it mean to characterise such biases as implicit? Can we satisfactorily articulate the grounds for identifying them as bias? And crucially, what sorts of cognitions (...)
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  • Deliberative Sincerity and the Opacity of the Self.Erik A. Anderson - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (3):422-440.
  • Narrative Fiction and Epistemic Injustice.Zoë Cunliffe - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (2):169-180.
  • Self-Reflexive Cognitive Bias.Joshua Mugg & Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-21.
    Cognitive scientists claim to have discovered a large number of cognitive biases, which have a tendency to mislead reasoners. Might cognitive scientists themselves be subject to the very biases they purport to discover? And how should this alter the way they evaluate their research as evidence for the existence of these biases? In this paper, we posit a new paradox, which bears a striking resemblance to some classical logical paradoxes. Suppose that research R appears to be good evidence for the (...)
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  • Intellectual Virtues and Biased Understanding.Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:97-113.
    Biases affect much of our epistemic lives. Do they affect how we understand things? For Linda Zagzebski, we only understand something when we manifest intellectual virtues or skills. Relying on how widespread biases are, J. Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard raise a skeptical objection to understanding so conceived. It runs as follows: most of us seem to understand many things. We genuinely understand only when we manifest intellectual virtues or skills, and are cognitively responsible for so doing. Yet much of (...)
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  • Attributionism and Moral Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):765-786.
    Implicit intergroup biases have been shown to impact social behavior in many unsettling ways, from disparities in decisions to “shoot” black and white men in a computer simulation to unequal gender-based evaluations of résumés and CVs. It is a difficult question whether, and in what way, agents are responsible for behaviors affected by implicit biases. I argue that in paradigmatic cases agents are responsible for these behaviors in the sense that the behavior is “attributable” to them. That is, behaviors affected (...)
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  • Exploitative Epistemic Trust.Katherine Dormandy - 2020 - In Trust in Epistemology. New York City, New York, Vereinigte Staaten: pp. 241-264.
    Where there is trust, there is also vulnerability, and vulnerability can be exploited. Epistemic trust is no exception. This chapter maps the phenomenon of the exploitation of epistemic trust. I start with a discussion of how trust in general can be exploited; a key observation is that trust incurs vulnerabilities not just for the party doing the trusting, but also for the trustee (after all, trust can be burdensome), so either party can exploit the other. I apply these considerations to (...)
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  • Cognitive Bias, Situationism, and Virtue Reliabilism.Steven Bland - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):471-490.
    Mark Alfano claims that the heuristics and biases literature supports inferential cognitive situationism, i.e., the view that most of our inferential beliefs are arrived at and retained by means of unreliable heuristics rather than intellectual virtues. If true, this would present virtue reliabilists with an unpleasant choice: they can either accept inferential skepticism, or modify or abandon reliabilism. Alfano thinks that the latter course of action is most plausible, and several reliabilists seem to agree. I argue that this is not (...)
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  • Recent Work on Higher-Order Evidence.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A critical survey of recent work in epistemology on higher-order evidence. It discusses the nature of higher-order evidence, some puzzles it raises, responses to those puzzles, and problems facing them. It concludes by indicating connections between debates concerning higher-order evidence in epistemology and parallel debates in ethics and aesthetics.
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  • Does Epistemic Humility Threaten Religious Beliefs?Katherine Dormandy - 2018 - Journal of Psychology and Theology 46 (4):292– 304.
    In a fallen world fraught with evidence against religious beliefs, it is tempting to think that, on the assumption that those beliefs are true, the best way to protect them is to hold them dogmatically. Dogmatic belief, which is highly confident and resistant to counterevidence, may fail to exhibit epistemic virtues such as humility and may instead manifest epistemic vices such as arrogance or servility, but if this is the price of secure belief in religious truths, so be it. I (...)
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  • Resolving Religious Disagreements.Katherine Dormandy - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):56-83.
    Resolving religious disagreements is difficult, for beliefs about religion tend to come with strong biases against other views and the people who hold them. Evidence can help, but there is no agreed-upon policy for weighting it, and moreover bias affects the content of our evidence itself. Another complicating factor is that some biases are reliable and others unreliable. What we need is an evidence-weighting policy geared toward negotiating the effects of bias. I consider three evidence-weighting policies in the philosophy of (...)
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  • What We Can (and Can’T) Infer About Implicit Bias From Debiasing Experiments.Nick Byrd - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-29.
    The received view of implicit bias holds that it is associative and unreflective. Recently, the received view has been challenged. Some argue that implicit bias is not predicated on “any” associative process, but it is unreflective. These arguments rely, in part, on debiasing experiments. They proceed as follows. If implicit bias is associative and unreflective, then certain experimental manipulations cannot change implicitly biased behavior. However, these manipulations can change such behavior. So, implicit bias is not associative and unreflective. This paper (...)
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  • Stereotyping: The Multifactorial View.Katherine Puddifoot - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (1):137-156.
    This paper proposes and defends the multifactorial view of stereotyping. According to this view, multiple factors determine whether or not any act of stereotyping increases the chance of an accurate judgment being made about an individual to whom the stereotype is applied. To support this conclusion, various features of acts of stereotyping that can determine the accuracy of stereotyping judgments are identified. The argument challenges two existing views that suggest that it is relatively easy for an act of stereotyping to (...)
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  • Dissolving the Epistemic/Ethical Dilemma Over Implicit Bias.Katherine Puddifoot - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):73-93.
    It has been argued that humans can face an ethical/epistemic dilemma over the automatic stereotyping involved in implicit bias: ethical demands require that we consistently treat people equally, as equally likely to possess certain traits, but if our aim is knowledge or understanding our responses should reflect social inequalities meaning that members of certain social groups are statistically more likely than others to possess particular features. I use psychological research to argue that often the best choice from the epistemic perspective (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Saulish Skepticism: Either Self-Defeating or Not Even Skepticism.Samuel Director - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (48):43-55.
    Jennifer Saul argues that the evidence from the literature on implicit biases entails a form of skepticism. In this paper, I argue that Saul faces a dilemma: her argument is either self-defeating, or it does not yield a skeptical conclusion. For Saul, both results are unacceptable; thus, her argument fails.
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  • Naturalizing Logic: A Case Study of the Ad Hominem and Implicit Bias.Madeleine Ransom - 2019 - In Dov Gabbay, Lorenzo Magnani, Woosuk Park & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen (eds.), Natural Arguments: A Tribute to John Woods. London: College Publications. pp. 575-589.
    The fallacies, as traditionally conceived, are wrong ways of reasoning that nevertheless appear attractive to us. Recently, however, Woods (2013) has argued that they don’t merit such a title, and that what we take to be fallacies are instead largely virtuous forms of reasoning. This reformation of the fallacies forms part of Woods’ larger project to naturalize logic. In this paper I will look to his analysis of the argumentum ad hominem as a case study for the prospects of this (...)
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  • Bias, Structure, and Injustice: A Reply to Haslanger.Robin Zheng - 2018 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 4 (1):1-30.
    Sally Haslanger has recently argued that philosophical focus on implicit bias is overly individualist, since social inequalities are best explained in terms of social structures rather than the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that questions of individual responsibility and implicit bias, properly understood, do constitute an important part of addressing structural injustice, and I propose an alternative conception of social structure according to which implicit biases are themselves best understood as a special type of structure.
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  • Online Conferences: Some History, Methods, and Benefits.Nick Byrd - 2021 - In Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. United Kingdom: Open Book Publishers. pp. 435–462.
    Philosophers have probably been organizing conferences since at least the time of Plato’s academy (Barnes, 1998). More recently, philosophers have brought some of their conferences online (e.g., Brown, 2009; Buckner, Byrd, Rushing, & Schwenkler, 2017; Calzavarini & Viola, 2018; Nadelhoffer, 2006). However, the adoption of online conferences is limited. One might wonder if scholars prefer traditional conferences for their ability to provide goods that online conferences cannot. While this may be true, online conferences outshine traditional conferences in various ways, and (...)
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  • Implicit Attitudes and the Ability Argument.Wesley Buckwalter - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2961-2990.
    According to one picture of the mind, decisions and actions are largely the result of automatic cognitive processing beyond our ability to control. This picture is in tension with a foundational principle in ethics that moral responsibility for behavior requires the ability to control it. The discovery of implicit attitudes contributes to this tension. According to the ability argument against moral responsibility, if we cannot control implicit attitudes, and implicit attitudes cause behavior, then we cannot be morally responsible for that (...)
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  • Is It Rational to Reject Expert Consensus?Bryan Frances - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (3-4):325-345.
    Philosophers defend, and often believe, controversial philosophical claims. Since they aren’t clueless, they are usually aware that their views are controversial—on some occasions, the views are definitely in the minority amongst the relevant specialist-experts. In addition, most philosophers are aware that they are not God’s gift to philosophy, since they admit their ability to track truth in philosophy is not extraordinary compared to that of other philosophers. In this paper I argue that in many real-life cases, such beliefs in controversial (...)
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  • Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat, and Political Correctness in Philosophy.Sean Hermanson - 2017 - Philosophies 2 (2):12.
    This paper offers an unorthodox appraisal of empirical research bearing on the question of the low representation of women in philosophy. It contends that fashionable views in the profession concerning implicit bias and stereotype threat are weakly supported, that philosophers often fail to report the empirical work responsibly, and that the standards for evidence are set very low—so long as you take a certain viewpoint.
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  • How to Take Offense: Responding to Microaggression.Regina Rini - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):332-351.
    A microaggression is a small insulting act made disproportionately harmful by its part in an oppressive pattern of similar insults. How should you respond when made the victim of a microaggression? In this paper I survey several morally salient factors, including effects upon victims, perpetrators, and third parties. I argue, contrary to popular views, that ‘growing a thicker skin’ is not good advice nor is expressing reasonable anger always the best way to contribute to confronting oppression. Instead, appropriately responding to (...)
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  • Ideological Diversity, Hostility, and Discrimination in Philosophy.Uwe Peters, Nathan Honeycutt, Andreas De Block & Lee Jussim - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (4):511-548.
    Members of the field of philosophy have, just as other people, political convictions or, as psychologists call them, ideologies. How are different ideologies distributed and perceived in the field? Using the familiar distinction between the political left and right, we surveyed an international sample of 794 subjects in philosophy. We found that survey participants clearly leaned left (75%), while right-leaning individuals (14%) and moderates (11%) were underrepresented. Moreover, and strikingly, across the political spectrum, from very left-leaning individuals and moderates to (...)
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  • Commentary on Patrick Bondy, “Bias in Legitimate Ad Hominem Arguments”.Andrew Aberdein - 2016 - Argumentation, Objectivity and Bias: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA), May 18–21, 2016.
  • How Not to Deal with the Tragic Dilemma.Joshua Mugg - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (3):253-264.
    Race is often epistemically relevant, but encoding racial stereotypes can lead to implicitly biased behavior. Thus, given the way race structures society, it seems to be impossible to be both epist...
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  • Implicit Bias, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:548-560.
    In this paper I explore the nature of confabulatory explanations of action guided by implicit bias. I claim that such explanations can have significant epistemic benefits in spite of their obvious epistemic costs, and that such benefits are not otherwise obtainable by the subject at the time at which the explanation is offered. I start by outlining the kinds of cases I have in mind, before characterising the phenomenon of confabulation by focusing on a few common features. Then I introduce (...)
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  • Increasing the Veracity of Implicitly Biased Rankings.Martin Jönsson & Julia Sjödahl - 2017 - Episteme 14 (4):499-517.
    In spite of our good intentions and explicit egalitarian convictions, we habitually disfavor the underprivileged. The rapidly growing literature on implicit bias – unconscious, automatic tendencies to associate negative traits with members of particular social groups – points towards explanations of this dissonance, although rarely towards generalizable solutions. In a recent paper, Jennifer Saul draws attention to the alarming epistemological problems that implicit bias carries with it; since our judgments about each other are likely influenced by implicit bias, we have (...)
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  • Implicit Racial Bias and Epistemic Pessimism.Charles Lassiter & Nathan Ballantyne - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (1-2):79-101.
    Implicit bias results from living in a society structured by race. Tamar Gendler has drawn attention to several epistemic costs of implicit bias and concludes that paying some costs is unavoidable. In this paper, we reconstruct Gendler’s argument and argue that the epistemic costs she highlights can be avoided. Though epistemic agents encode discriminatory information from the environment, not all encoded information is activated. Agents can construct local epistemic environments that do not activate biasing representations, effectively avoiding the consequences of (...)
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  • Linguistic Justice and Analytic Philosophy.Francesco Chiesa & Anna Elisabetta Galeotti - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (1):155-182.
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