Social Biases and Solution for Procedural Objectivity

Hypatia 26 (2):352-73 (2011)
Abstract
An empirically sensitive formulation of the norms of transformative criticism must recognize that even public and shared standards of evaluation can be implemented in ways that unintentionally perpetuate and reproduce forms of social bias that are epistemically detrimental. Helen Longino’s theory can explain and redress such social bias by treating peer evaluations as hypotheses based on data and by requiring a kind of perspectival diversity that bears, not on the content of the community’s knowledge claims, but on the beliefs and norms of the culture of the knowledge community itself. To illustrate how socializing cognition can bias evaluations, we focus on peer-review practices, with some discussion of peer-review practices in philosophy. Data include responses to surveys by editors from general philosophy journals, as well as analyses of reviews and editorial decisions for the 2007 Cognitive Science Society Conference.
Keywords procedural objectivity  objectivity  implicit bias
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