Implicit Bias as Mental Imagery

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (3):329-347 (2021)
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Abstract

What is the mental representation that is responsible for implicit bias? What is this representation that mediates between the trigger and the biased behavior? My claim is that this representation is neither a propositional attitude nor a mere association. Rather, it is mental imagery: perceptual processing that is not directly triggered by sensory input. I argue that this view captures the advantages of the two standard accounts without inheriting their disadvantages. Further, this view also explains why manipulating mental imagery is among the most efficient ways of counteracting implicit bias.

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Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp

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