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Virtue, Social Knowledge, and Implicit Bias

In Jennifer Saul & Michael Brownstein (eds.), Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology. pp. 191-215 (2016)

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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility.Alex Madva - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78.
    Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious, ‘introspectively inaccessible’ attitudes. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence of partial awareness for individuals’ moral responsibility. First, I argue that responsibility comes in degrees. Second, I argue that individuals’ partial awareness of their implicit biases makes (...)
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  • Stereotypes, Prejudice, and the Taxonomy of the Implicit Social Mind.Alex Madva & Michael Brownstein - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):611-644.
    How do cognition and affect interact to produce action? Research in intergroup psychology illuminates this question by investigating the relationship between stereotypes and prejudices about social groups. Yet it is now clear that many social attitudes are implicit. This raises the question: how does the distinction between cognition and affect apply to implicit mental states? An influential view—roughly analogous to a Humean theory of action—is that “implicit stereotypes” and “implicit prejudices” constitute two separate constructs, reflecting different mental processes and neural (...)
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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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  • Biased Against Debiasing: On the Role of (Institutionally Sponsored) Self-Transformation in the Struggle Against Prejudice.Alex Madva - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:145-179.
    Research suggests that interventions involving extensive training or counterconditioning can reduce implicit prejudice and stereotyping, and even susceptibility to stereotype threat. This research is widely cited as providing an “existence proof” that certain entrenched social attitudes are capable of change, but is summarily dismissed—by philosophers, psychologists, and activists alike—as lacking direct, practical import for the broader struggle against prejudice, discrimination, and inequality. Criticisms of these “debiasing” procedures fall into three categories: concerns about empirical efficacy, about practical feasibility, and about the (...)
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  • Should We Tell Implicit Bias Stories?Jennifer Saul - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (50):217-244.
    As the phenomenon of implicit bias has become increasingly widely known and accepted, a variety of criticisms have similarly gained in prominence. This paper focuses on one particular set of criticisms, generally made from the political left, of what Sally Haslanger calls “implicit bias stories”—a broad term encompassing a wide range of discourses from media discussions to academic papers to implicit bias training. According to this line of thought, implicit bias stories are counterproductive because they serve to distract from the (...)
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  • A Plea for Anti-Anti-Individualism: How Oversimple Psychology Misleads Social Policy.Alex Madva - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:701-728.
    This essay responds to the criticism that contemporary efforts to redress discrimination and inequality are overly individualistic. Critics of individualism emphasize that these systemic social ills stem not from the prejudice, irrationality, or selfishness of individuals, but from underlying structural-institutional forces. They are skeptical, therefore, of attempts to change individuals’ attitudes while leaving structural problems intact. I argue that the insistence on prioritizing structural over individual change is problematic and misleading. My view is not that we should instead prioritize individual (...)
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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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