Profiling, Neutrality, and Social Equality

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):808-824 (2022)
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I argue that traditional views on which beliefs are subject only to purely epistemic assessment can reject demographic profiling, even when based on seemingly robust evidence. This is because the moral failures involved in demographic profiling can be located in the decision not to suspend judgment, rather than supposing that beliefs themselves are a locus of moral evaluation. A key moral reason to suspend judgment when faced with adverse demographic evidence is to promote social equality—this explains why positive profiling is dubious, along with more familiar cases of negative profiling, and why profiling is suspect even when no particular action is at stake. My suspension-based view, while compatible with revisionary normative positions, does not presuppose them. Philosophers of all stripes can reject demographic profiling both in thought and deed.

Author's Profile

Lewis Ross
London School of Economics


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