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Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  1. Understanding Implicit Bias: Putting the Criticism Into Perspective.Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):276-307.
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  2. Introducing Implicit Bias: Why This Book Matters.Erin Beeghly & Alex Madva - 2020 - In Erin Beeghly & Alex Madva (eds.), An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind. New York, NY, USA: pp. 1-19.
    Written by a diverse range of scholars, this accessible introductory volume asks: What is implicit bias? How does implicit bias compromise our knowledge of others and social reality? How does implicit bias affect us, as individuals and participants in larger social and political institutions, and what can we do to combat biases? An interdisciplinary enterprise, the volume brings together the philosophical perspective of the humanities with the perspective of the social sciences to develop rich lines of inquiry. It is written (...)
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  3. What Do Implicit Measures Measure?Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2019 - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-13.
    We identify several ongoing debates related to implicit measures, surveying prominent views and considerations in each debate. First, we summarize the debate regarding whether performance on implicit measures is explained by conscious or unconscious representations. Second, we discuss the cognitive structure of the operative constructs: are they associatively or propositionally structured? Third, we review debates whether performance on implicit measures reflects traits or states. Fourth, we discuss the question of whether a person’s performance on an implicit measure reflects characteristics of (...)
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  4. Why Implicit Attitudes Are (Probably) Not Beliefs.Alex Madva - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    Should we understand implicit attitudes on the model of belief? I argue that implicit attitudes are (probably) members of a different psychological kind altogether, because they seem to be insensitive to the logical form of an agent’s thoughts and perceptions. A state is sensitive to logical form only if it is sensitive to the logical constituents of the content of other states (e.g., operators like negation and conditional). I explain sensitivity to logical form and argue that it is a necessary (...)
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  5. Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility.Alex Madva - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78.
    Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious, ‘introspectively inaccessible’ attitudes. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence of partial awareness for individuals’ moral responsibility. First, I argue that responsibility comes in degrees. Second, I argue that individuals’ partial awareness of their implicit biases makes (...)
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  6. Virtue, Social Knowledge, and Implicit Bias.Alex Madva - 2016 - In Jennifer Saul & Michael Brownstein (eds.), Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology. pp. 191-215.
    This chapter is centered around an apparent tension that research on implicit bias raises between virtue and social knowledge. Research suggests that simply knowing what the prevalent stereotypes are leads individuals to act in prejudiced ways—biasing decisions about whom to trust and whom to ignore, whom to promote and whom to imprison—even if they reflectively reject those stereotypes. Because efforts to combat discrimination obviously depend on knowledge of stereotypes, a question arises about what to do next. This chapter argues that (...)
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  7. Individual and Structural Interventions.Alex Madva - forthcoming - In Erin Beeghly & Alex Madva (eds.), An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind.
    What can we do—and what should we do—to fight against bias? This final chapter introduces empirically-tested interventions for combating implicit (and explicit) bias and promoting a fairer world, from small daily-life debiasing tricks to larger structural interventions. Along the way, this chapter raises a range of moral, political, and strategic questions about these interventions. This chapter further stresses the importance of admitting that we don’t have all the answers. We should be humble about how much we still don’t know and (...)
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  8. Integration, Community, and the Medical Model of Social Injustice.Alex Madva - 2019 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (2):211-232.
    I defend an empirically-oriented approach to the analysis and remediation of social injustice. My springboard for this argument is a debate—principally represented here between Tommie Shelby and Elizabeth Anderson, but with much deeper historical roots and many flowering branches—about whether racial-justice advocacy should prioritize integration (bringing different groups together) or community development (building wealth and political power within the black community). Although I incline toward something closer to Shelby’s “egalitarian pluralist” approach over Anderson’s single-minded emphasis on integration, many of Shelby’s (...)
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  9. Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition.Michael Cholbi & Alex Madva - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):517-544.
    The Black Lives Matter movement has called for the abolition of capital punishment in response to what it calls “the war against Black people” and “Black communities.” This article defends the two central contentions in the movement’s abolitionist stance: first, that US capital punishment practices represent a wrong to black communities rather than simply a wrong to particular black capital defendants or particular black victims of murder, and second, that the most defensible remedy for this wrong is the abolition of (...)
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  10. Biased Against Debiasing: On the Role of (Institutionally Sponsored) Self-Transformation in the Struggle Against Prejudice.Alex Madva - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:145-179.
    Research suggests that interventions involving extensive training or counterconditioning can reduce implicit prejudice and stereotyping, and even susceptibility to stereotype threat. This research is widely cited as providing an “existence proof” that certain entrenched social attitudes are capable of change, but is summarily dismissed—by philosophers, psychologists, and activists alike—as lacking direct, practical import for the broader struggle against prejudice, discrimination, and inequality. Criticisms of these “debiasing” procedures fall into three categories: concerns about empirical efficacy, about practical feasibility, and about the (...)
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  11. Social Psychology, Phenomenology, and the Indeterminate Content of Unreflective Racial Bias.Alex Madva - 2019 - In Emily S. Lee (ed.), Race as Phenomena: Between Phenomenology and Philosophy of Race. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 87-106.
    Social psychologists often describe “implicit” racial biases as entirely unconscious, and as mere associations between groups and traits, which lack intentional content, e.g., we associate “black” and “athletic” in much the same way we associate “salt” and “pepper.” However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, albeit in partial, inarticulate, or even distorted ways. Moreover, evidence suggests that implicit biases are not “dumb” semantic associations, but instead reflect our skillful, norm-sensitive, and embodied engagement with (...)
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  12. Can Capital Punishment Survive If Black Lives Matter?Michael Cholbi & Alex Madva - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi, Brandon Hogan, Alex Madva & Benjamin Yost (eds.), The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives. New York:
    Drawing upon empirical studies of racial discrimination dating back to the 1940’s, the Movement for Black Lives platform calls for the abolition of capital punishment. Our purpose here is to defend the Movement’s call for death penalty abolition in terms congruent with its claim that the death penalty in the U.S. is a “racist practice” that “devalues Black lives.” We first sketch the jurisprudential history of race and capital punishment in the U.S., wherein courts have occasionally expressed worries about racial (...)
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  13. Intersectionality as a Regulative Ideal.Katherine Gasdaglis & Alex Madva - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Appeals to intersectionality serve to remind us that social categories like race and gender cannot be adequately understood independently from each other. But what, exactly, is the intersectional thesis a thesis about? Answers to this question are remarkably diverse. Intersectionality is variously understood as a claim about the nature of social kinds, oppression, or experience ; about the limits of antidiscrimination law or identity politics ; or about the importance of fuzzy sets, multifactor analysis, or causal modeling in social science.
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  14. Implicit Bias.Alex Madva - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), Ethics in Practice: An Anthology (5th Edition).
    (This contribution is primarily based on "Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility," (2018) Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. This version has been shortened and significantly revised to be more accessible and student-oriented.) Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence (...)
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  15. Equal Rights for Zombies?: Phenomenal Consciousness and Responsible Agency.Alex Madva - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (5-6):117-40.
    Intuitively, moral responsibility requires conscious awareness of what one is doing, and why one is doing it, but what kind of awareness is at issue? Neil Levy argues that phenomenal consciousness—the qualitative feel of conscious sensations—is entirely unnecessary for moral responsibility. He claims that only access consciousness—the state in which information (e.g., from perception or memory) is available to an array of mental systems (e.g., such that an agent can deliberate and act upon that information)—is relevant to moral responsibility. I (...)
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  16. The Inevitability of Aiming for Virtue.Alex Madva - 2019 - In Stacey Goguen & Benjamin Sherman (eds.), Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives. London, UK: pp. 85-100.
    I defend Fricker’s virtue-theoretic proposals for grappling with epistemic injustice, arguing that her account is both empirically oriented and plausible. I agree with Fricker that an integral component of what we ought to do in the face of pervasive epistemic injustice is working to cultivate epistemic habits that aim to consistently neutralize the effects of such prejudices on their credibility estimates. But Fricker does not claim that her specific proposals constitute the only means through which individuals and institutions should combat (...)
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  17. The Longitudinal Effects of STEM Identity and Gender on Flourishing and Achievement in College Physics.Viviane Seyranian, Alex Madva, Nina Abramzon, Nicole Duong, Yoi Tibbetts & Judith Harackiewicz - 2018 - International Journal of STEM Education 5 (40):1-14.
    Background. Drawing on social identity theory and positive psychology, this study investigated women’s responses to the social environment of physics classrooms. It also investigated STEM identity and gender disparities on academic achievement and flourishing in an undergraduate introductory physics course for STEM majors. 160 undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory physics course were administered a baseline survey with self-report measures on course belonging, physics identification, flourishing, and demographics at the beginning of the course and a post-survey at the end of (...)
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  18. The Social Turn in Moral Psychology. [REVIEW]Alex Madva - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):116-121.
    (This is a book review of Mark Fedyk's The Social Turn in Moral Psychology.) Mark Fedyk argues persuasively for both the importance and the perils of interdisciplinarity in studies of ethical life. The book is dense with incisive argumentation and innovative proposals for integrating moral, social, and political philosophy with the psychological and social sciences. It will be of interest to aprioristically inclined normative and social theorists peeking over the fence at the empirical side of things, to experimentalists trying to (...)
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