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Rima Basu
Claremont McKenna College
  1. The Wrongs of Racist Beliefs.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
    We care not only about how people treat us, but also what they believe of us. If I believe that you’re a bad tipper given your race, I’ve wronged you. But, what if you are a bad tipper? It is commonly argued that the way racist beliefs wrong is that the racist believer either misrepresents reality, organizes facts in a misleading way that distorts the truth, or engages in fallacious reasoning. In this paper, I present a case that challenges this (...)
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  2. Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu & Mark Schroeder - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 181-205.
    In the Book of Common Prayer’s Rite II version of the Eucharist, the congregation confesses, “we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed”. According to this confession we wrong God not just by what we do and what we say, but also by what we think. The idea that we can wrong someone not just by what we do, but by what think or what we believe, is a natural one. It is the kind of wrong we feel (...)
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  3. What We Epistemically Owe To Each Other.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):915–931.
    This paper is about an overlooked aspect—the cognitive or epistemic aspect—of the moral demand we place on one another to be treated well. We care not only how people act towards us and what they say of us, but also what they believe of us. That we can feel hurt by what others believe of us suggests both that beliefs can wrong and that there is something we epistemically owe to each other. This proposal, however, surprises many theorists who claim (...)
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  4. Radical Moral Encroachment: The Moral Stakes of Racist Beliefs.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):9-23.
    Historical patterns of discrimination seem to present us with conflicts between what morality requires and what we epistemically ought to believe. I will argue that these cases lend support to the following nagging suspicion: that the epistemic standards governing belief are not independent of moral considerations. We can resolve these seeming conflicts by adopting a framework wherein standards of evidence for our beliefs to count as justified can shift according to the moral stakes. On this account, believing a paradigmatically racist (...)
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  5. A Tale of Two Doctrines: Moral Encroachment and Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu - 2021 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 99-118.
    In this paper, I argue that morality might bear on belief in at least two conceptually distinct ways. The first is that morality might bear on belief by bearing on questions of justification. The claim that it does is the doctrine of moral encroachment. The second, is that morality might bear on belief given the central role belief plays in mediating and thereby constituting our relationships with one another. The claim that it does is the doctrine of doxastic wronging. Though (...)
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  6. Can Beliefs Wrong?Rima Basu - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (1):1-17.
    We care what people think of us. The thesis that beliefs wrong, although compelling, can sound ridiculous. The norms that properly govern belief are plausibly epistemic norms such as truth, accuracy, and evidence. Moral and prudential norms seem to play no role in settling the question of whether to believe p, and they are irrelevant to answering the question of what you should believe. This leaves us with the question: can we wrong one another by virtue of what we believe (...)
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  7. The Specter of Normative Conflict: Does Fairness Require Inaccuracy?Rima Basu - 2020 - In Erin Beeghly & Alex Madva (eds.), An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind. Routledge. pp. 191-210.
    A challenge we face in a world that has been shaped by, and continues to be shaped by, racist attitudes and institutions is that the evidence is often stacked in favor of racist beliefs. As a result, we may find ourselves facing the following conflict: what if the evidence we have supports something we morally shouldn’t believe? For example, it is morally wrong to assume, solely on the basis of someone’s skin color, that they’re a staff member. But, what if (...)
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  8. Beliefs That Wrong.Rima Basu - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    You shouldn’t have done it. But you did. Against your better judgment you scrolled to the end of an article concerning the state of race relations in America and you are now reading the comments. Amongst the slurs, the get-rich-quick schemes, and the threats of physical violence, there is one comment that catches your eye. Spencer argues that although it might be “unpopular” or “politically incorrect” to say this, the evidence supports believing that the black diner in his section will (...)
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  9. Belief.Rima Basu - 2022 - The Philosopher 110 (2):7-10.
    If you’re familiar with Tolkien’s The Hobbit I don’t need to tell you that Mirkwood is a dangerous place. As bad as we might feel for Thorin and company as they try to navigate the forest and fall prey to its traps, we should feel worse for ourselves. Our world is also dangerous and difficult, but in a different way. Although it’s some comfort that the spiders of our world are smaller, it is easier to travel through Mirkwood than it (...)
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  10. The Importance of Forgetting.Rima Basu - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Morality bears on what we should forget. Some aspects of our identity are meant to be forgotten and there is a distinctive harm that accompanies the permanence of some content about us, content that prompts a duty to forget. To make the case that forgetting is an integral part of our moral duties to others, the paper proceeds as follows. In §1, I make the case that forgetting is morally evaluable and I survey three kinds of forgetting: no-trace forgetting, archival (...)
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  11. The Ethics of Expectations.Rima Basu -
    This paper asks two questions about the ethics of expectations: one about the nature of expectations, and one about the wrongs of expectations. Expectations involve a rich constellation of attitudes ranging from beliefs to also include imaginings, hopes, fears, and dreams. As a result, it would be a mistake to treat expectation as merely a theoretical, practical, or evaluative attitude. Sometimes expectations are predictive, like your expectation of rain tomorrow, sometimes prescriptive, like the expectation that your students will do the (...)
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  12. Risky Inquiry: Developing an Ethics for Philosophical Practice.Rima Basu - forthcoming - Hypatia.
    Philosophical inquiry strives to be the unencumbered exploration of ideas. That is, unlike scientific research which is subject to ethical oversight, it is commonly thought that it would either be inappropriate, or that it would undermine what philosophy fundamentally is, if philosophical research were subject to similar ethical oversight. Against this, I argue that philosophy is in need of a reckoning. Philosophical inquiry is a morally hazardous practice with its own risks. There are risks present in the methods we employ, (...)
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