(What) Are Stereotyping and Discrimination? (What) Do We Want Them to Be?

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Comment on Beeghly, Erin. 2021. “Stereotyping as Discrimination: Why Thoughts Can Be Discriminatory.” Social Epistemology 35 (6): 547–63. Beeghly’s “Stereotyping as Discrimination” is—characteristically—clear, thorough, and persuasive, rich with incisive arguments and thought-provoking case studies. In defending the view that stereotyping often constitutes discrimination, she makes a powerful case that, “Living ethically means cultivating a certain kind of ‘inner’ life and avoiding pernicious habits of thought, no matter how culturally pervasive” (Beeghly 2021b, 13). Support for such claims is traced back not just to Aristotle and the Ten Commandments (Beeghly 2021b, 10), but also to critical social traditions. “As feminists and theorists of race have long noted, the most intimate aspects of our selves, including our ways of thinking, agency, and modes of embodiment, are among the mechanisms of group oppression” (Beeghly 2021b, 13). I offer, first, a tiny friendly amendment to one brief passage, followed by invitations to explore some of the further potential implications of Beeghly’s central theses.
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