Implicit Bias: from social structure to representational format

Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (1):41-60 (2018)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue against the view that the representational structure of the implicit attitudes responsible for implicitly biased behaviour is propositional—as opposed to associationist. The proposal under criticism moves from the claim that implicit biased behaviour can occasionally be modulated by logical and evidential considerations to the view that the structure of the implicit attitudes responsible for such biased behaviour is propositional. I argue, in particular, against the truth of this conditional. Sensitivity to logical and evidential considerations, I contend, proves to be an inadequate criterion for establishing the true representational structure of implicit attitudes. Considerations of a different kind, which emphasize the challenges posed by the structural social injustice that implicit attitudes reflect, offer, I conclude, better support for deciding this issue in favour of an associationist view.

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Josefa Toribio
Universitat de Barcelona

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