Radical moral encroachment: The moral stakes of racist beliefs

Philosophical Issues 29 (1):9-23 (2019)
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Historical patterns of discrimination seem to present us with conflicts between what morality requires and what we epistemically ought to believe. I will argue that these cases lend support to the following nagging suspicion: that the epistemic standards governing belief are not independent of moral considerations. We can resolve these seeming conflicts by adopting a framework wherein standards of evidence for our beliefs to count as justified can shift according to the moral stakes. On this account, believing a paradigmatically racist belief reflects a failure to not only attend to the epistemic risk of being wrong, but also a failure to attend to the distinctively moral risk of wronging others given what we believe.
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Archival date: 2019-07-05
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