David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 49 (3) (2015)
The overwhelming majority of those who theorize about implicit biases posit that these biases are caused by some sort of association. However, what exactly this claim amounts to is rarely specified. In this paper, I distinguish between different understandings of association, and I argue that the crucial senses of association for elucidating implicit bias are the cognitive structure and mental process senses. A hypothesis is subsequently derived: if associations really underpin implicit biases, then implicit biases should be modulated by counterconditioning or extinction but should not be modulated by rational argumentation or logical interventions. This hypothesis is false; implicit biases are not predicated on any associative structures or associative processes but instead arise because of unconscious propositionally structured beliefs. I conclude by discussing how the case study of implicit bias illuminates problems with popular dual-process models of cognitive architecture.
|Keywords||Implicit Bias Associationism Cognitive Structure Belief Implicit Attitudes Reasoning Inference Unconscious Thought Racism|
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Susan Carey (2009). The Origin of Concepts. Oxford University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2008). Alief and Belief. Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
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Citations of this work BETA
Eric Mandelbaum (2013). Thinking is Believing. Inquiry 57 (1):55-96.
Michael Brownstein (forthcoming). Attributionism and Moral Responsibility for Implicit Bias. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-22.
Neil Levy (forthcoming). Embodied Savoir-Faire: Knowledge-How Requires Motor Representations. Synthese:1-20.
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