Implicit bias, ideological bias, and epistemic risks in philosophy

Mind and Language 34 (3):393-419 (2018)
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It has been argued that implicit biases are operative in philosophy and lead to significant epistemic costs in the field. Philosophers working on this issue have focussed mainly on implicit gender and race biases. They have overlooked ideological bias, which targets political orientations. Psychologists have found ideological bias in their field and have argued that it has negative epistemic effects on scientific research. I relate this debate to the field of philosophy and argue that if, as some studies suggest, the same bias also exists in philosophy then it will lead to hitherto unrecognised epistemic hazards in the field. Furthermore, the bias is epistemically different from the more familiar biases in respects that are important for epistemology, ethics, and metaphilosophy.

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Uwe Peters
Utrecht University


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