Prejudice: A Study in Non-ideal Epistemology

Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):1057-1061 (2022)
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Abstract

Wouldn’t it be nice if hateful people were invariably stupid to boot, if their prejudiced attitudes could be attributed to some kind of irrationality? Tempting though this prospect is, Endre Begby warns us against it. Philosophers have tended, he writes, to assume that prejudiced beliefs are always ‘a symptom of some kind of breakdown of epistemic rationality’ (p. 2). This view is Begby's target. There can, he claims, be epistemically unimpeachable instances of prejudicial belief. That claim comes bound up with a broader account of what prejudice is, and of the epistemic framework we should adopt when evaluating agents. The result is a thought-provoking account of prejudice, and a case study of the tensions inherent in the non-ideal project. By intertwining discussion of prejudice with a discussion of the appropriate epistemological framework for its evaluation, the book encourages reflection on a series of important methodological questions, and ultimately a broader interrogation of the role of philosophy in the study of prejudice.

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Jessie Munton
Cambridge University

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