According to a common view, prejudice always involves some form of epistemic culpability, i.e., a failure to respond to evidence in the appropriate way. I argue that the common view wrongfully assumes that prejudices always involve universal generalizations. After motivating the more plausible thesis that prejudices typically involve a species of generic judgment, I show that standard examples provide no grounds for positing a strong connection between prejudice and epistemic culpability. More generally, the common view fails to recognize (...) the extent to which prejudices are epistemically insidious: once they are internalized as background beliefs, they quite reasonably come to control the assessment and interpretation of new evidence. This property of insidiousness helps explain why prejudices are so recalcitrant to empirical counterevidence and also why they are frequently invisible to introspective reflection. (shrink)
Using discussion from Gadamer, Burbules and Rice, and Banks, and practical examples from a multicultural teacher education classroom, this paper examines the effects of community on the construction of identities and on the development and overcoming of prejudice.
Much of the political and public debate about faith-based schooling is conducted at the level of generalised assertion and counterassertion, with little reference to educational scholarship or research. There is a tendency in these debates to draw upon historical images of faith schooling (idealised and critical); to use ideological advocacy (both for and against) and to deploy strong claims about the effects of faith-based schooling upon personal and intellectual autonomy and the wider consequences of such schooling for social harmony, race (...) relations and the common good of society. This paper will attempt to review some of these controversies in the light of recent educational and research studies. Particular attention will be given to research investigations of Catholic schooling systems in various cultural and political contexts, studies which are largely unknown outside the Catholic community. In addition to reviewing educational studies of faith-based schooling, the paper will offer critical appraisal of the main arguments in the debate and it will also outline a possible research agenda for future inquiry in this sector of educational studies. (shrink)
Misrecognition, taken seriously as unjust social subordination, cannot be remedied by eliminating prejudice alone. In this rejoinder to Richard Rorty, it is argued that a politics of recognition and a politics of redistribution can and should be combined. However, an identity politics that displaces redistribution and reifies group differences is deeply flawed. Here, instead, an alternative 'status' model of recognition politics is offered that encourages struggles to overcome status subordination and fosters parity of participation. Integrating this politics of recognition (...) with redistribution enables a coherent Left vision that could redress injustices of culture and of political economy simultaneously. (shrink)
Despite appeals to Hume in debates over moralism in art criticism, we lack an adequate account of Hume’s moralist aesthetics, as presented in “Of the Standard of Taste.” I illuminate that aesthetics by pursuing a problem, the moral prejudice dilemma, that arises from a tension between the “freedom from prejudice” Hume requires of aesthetic judges and what he says about the relevance of moral considerations to art evaluation. I disarm the dilemma by investigating the taxonomy of prejudices by (...) which Hume justifies the true judge’s moralism. The result distinguishes Hume’s aesthetic and moral points of view while defending aesthetic moralism. (shrink)
This article defends the idea that causal relations between reasons and actions are wholly irrelevant to the explanatory efficacy of reason-explanations. The analysis of reason-explanations provided in this article shows that the so-called “problem of explanatory force” is solved, not by putative causal relations between the reasons for which agents act and their actions, but rather by the intentions that agents necessarily have when they act for a reason. Additionally, the article provides a critique of the principal source of support (...) for the thesis that reason-explanations are causal explanations, namely, Davidson’s argument in “Actions, Reasons, and Causes.” It is shown that Davidson’s argument for this thesis rests crucially on two mistakes: his definition of intentional action and his ontological prejudice against intentions.Cet article soutient que les relations causales entre raisons et actions ne sont pas du tout adaptées à l’efficacité explicative de la relation raison-explications. L’analyse de cette dernière introduite dans le présent article montre que le soi-disant «problème de la force explicative» se trouve résolu non par de prétendues relations causales entre les raisons pour lesquelles des agents agissent et leurs actions mais plutôt par les intentions que les agents ont nécessairement quand ils agissent pour une raison. Par ailleurs l’article avance la critique de ce qui est essentiellement à la source de la défense de la thèse selon laquelle la relation raison-explications forme les explications causales, c’est-a-dire l’argument de Davidson dans «Actions, Raisons et Causes» Il est montré que l’argument de Davidson a l’oeuvre dans cette thèse repose essentiellement sur deux erreurs: la première est sa définition de l’action délibérée et la seconde est un préjugé d'ordre ontologique à l’égard des intentions. (shrink)
The last of Hume's five requirements of the ‘‘true judge in the finer arts’’, is that he be ‘‘cleared of all prejudice……'. I argue here that, lurking in this innocuous-sounding requirement of the true judge, is a complexity that reveals a significant tension in Hume's argument. It is that tension that I want briefly to explore.
The Plenitude Principle is that for every filled spacetime region, there is an object that is exactly located at that region. Hawthorne motivates it on the grounds that it’s the only way to avoid cultural prejudice with regards to what material objects exist (the argument from cultural prejudice). There is a similar argument for a perdurantist-universalist theory, and the content of this paper applies mutatis mutandis to that argument as well.
A comparison is made, pointing out the parallels, between five systems of domination?racism, sexism, classism, nationalism and speciesism (the human domination of nature). In each of these, one group of (human) beings asserts its superiority over another group and thereby seems to justify the domination, exploitation and abuse of the oppressed group. An analytical model is then presented that traces the psychological development of domination behavior through four stages: (1) perception of difference and group identification, (2) pride and self?affirmation, (3) (...)prejudice, superiority and arrogance, (4) domination, paranoia, and control. Some suggestions are made as to the conditions or events that most likely trigger the escalation from one stage to the next. This model is then applied to all five areas to arrive at a better understanding of the psychological dynamics involved. Hopefully, such an analysis may help us to devise strategies to prevent or minimize the growth of these socially destructive behavior patterns. (shrink)
Our research on non-religion supports the proposed shift toward more interactive models of prejudice. Being nonreligious is easily hideable and, increasingly, of low salience, leading to experiences not easily understood via traditional or contemporary frameworks for studying prejudice and prejudice reduction. This context affords new opportunity to observe reverse forms of interactive prejudice, which can interfere with prejudice reduction.
Despite downsides, it must, on balance, be good to reduce prejudice. Despite upsides, collective action can also have destructive outcomes. Improving intergroup relations requires multiple levels of analysis involving a broader approach to prejudice reduction, awareness of potential conflict escalation, development of intergroup understanding, and promotion of a wider human rights perspective.
Since the mid-1980s many schools in predominantly white areas have taken active steps to counter racism and ethnocentrism and raise awareness of Britain's ethnic diversity through curriculum development. This paper is primarily concerned with the ethical issues raised by research into such initiatives at primary school level. We begin by alluding very briefly to the shortcomings of extant research into children's prejudice, noting that some studies can be criticised for the unwitting reinforcement of stereotypes. We move on to examine (...) the ethical and methodological considerations which have underpinned our own work in this area, focusing on a recent investigation into children's understanding of Jewish culture and identity. The techniques employed to probe the children's beliefs and attitudes and challenge their taken-for-granted assumptions are described at length, together with the ethical dilemmas addressed during the course of the research. In the second part of the paper, we focus on issues raised by our own curriculum development work in anti-racist and multicultural education in 'all white' schools. We draw extensively on a recent case-study of 10 and 11 year-olds' responses to a teaching programme which aimed to counter stereotypical images both of developing countries and Islam. (shrink)
This response clarifies, qualifies, and develops our critique of the limits of intergroup liking as a means of challenging intergroup inequality. It does not dispute that dominant groups may espouse negative attitudes towards subordinate groups. Nor does it dispute that prejudice reduction can be an effective way of tackling resulting forms of intergroup hostility. What it does dispute is the assumption that getting dominant group members and subordinate group members to like each other more is the best way of (...) improving intergroup relations that are characterized by relatively stable, institutionally embedded, relations of inequality. In other words, the main target of our critique is the model of change that underlies prejudice reduction interventions and the mainstream concept of on which they are based. (shrink)
In line with Dixon et al.'s argument, I contend that prejudice should be understood in broadly political rather than in narrowly psychological terms. First, what counts as prejudice is a political judgement. Second, studies of collective action demonstrate that it is in struggles, where subordinate groups together oppose dominant groups, that prejudice can be overcome.
The analysis offered by Dixon et al. fails to acknowledge that the attitudes that drive prejudice are attitudes that are constructed in particular contexts. These attitudes (e.g., toward men as childcare workers) can diverge strongly from attitudes toward the group in general. Social change is thus best achieved through challenging the requirements of roles and by changing group stereotypes.
Integrating a historical perspective into studies of prejudicial attitudes facilitates the interpretation of paradoxical findings of the kind cited in the target article. History also encourages research to move beyond the study of prejudice and to consider institutional and structural forces that maintain social inequities. Multilevel approaches can study these factors in both field and laboratory studies.
Three points that are implicit in Dixon et al.’s paradigmchallenging paper serve to make prejudice potent. First, prejudice reflectsunderstandings of social identity – the relationship of “us” to “them” – that are shared within particular groups. Second, these understandings are actively promoted by leaders who represent and advance in-group identity. Third, prejudice is identified in out-groups, not in-groups.
Dixon et al. have highlighted the importance of a political conceptualisation of intergroup relations that challenges individualising models of social change. As important as this paper is for the development of critical debates in psychology, we can detect at least three issues that warrant further discussion: (a) the cultural and historical conditions of structural inequality and its perception, (b) the marginalisation of post-colonial works on collective mobilisation, and (c) acknowledging the complex perspectives and politics of those targeted by prejudice.
Developmental perspectives on prejudice provide a fundamental and important key to the puzzle for determining how to address prejudice. Research with historically disadvantaged and advantaged groups in childhood and adolescence reveals the complexity of social cognitive and moral judgments about prejudice, discrimination, bias, and exclusion. Children are aware of status and hierarchies, and often reject the status quo. Intervention, to be effective, must happen early in development, before prejudice and stereotypes are deeply entrenched.
In her 2007 book "Epistemic Injustice" Miranda Fricker argues that "the silent by products of residual prejudice in a liberal society" are often the most difficult biases to eradicate. In this essay, I provide several examples of the kind of residual prejudice Fricker describes. I then propose a principle of "intellectual empathy" (with four component elements) as a methodological remedy for eradicating this kind of bias in good critical thinking.
Human behavior is guided by evolutionarily shaped brain mechanisms that make statistical predictions based on limited information. Such mechanisms are important for facilitating interpersonal relationships, avoiding dangers, and seizing opportunities in social interaction. We thus suggest that it is essential for analyses of prejudice and prejudice reduction to take the predictive accuracy and adaptivity of the studied prejudices into account.
This commentary focuses on Dixon et al.'s discussion on the dangers of employing prejudice-reduction interventions that seek to promote intergroup harmony in historically unequal societies. Specifically, it illustrates these dangers by discussing my work in Israel (now mentioned in Dixon et al.'s note 6) on the processes and practices through which reconciliation-aimed encounters between Jews and Arabs mitigate sociopolitical change.
Twenty-three years ago Robert Ayers noticed several brief and intriguing comments on miracles in the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (CP). Working with just those scraps of information from the CP, he stitched together a rough but helpful starting point for understanding this aspect of Peirce's religious and scientific thought. In the last few years several more articles on this subject have been written, each filling in a gap left by the others: Ayers' is a theological view, based solely (...) on the CP; later articles fill out Peirce's mathematics and his logic. This paper attempts to fill in a genealogical gap by showing how his thought on miracles is directly related to his dialogues with Plato, Hume, and Lutoslawski. My resources are largely unpublished manuscripts, many of which are fragmentary. I show the relationship between these manuscripts and two key published essays, "Philosophy and the Conduct of Life" (1898), and "On the Logic of Drawing History from Ancient Documents, Especially from Testimonies" (1901), and then show how Peirce, in dialogue with Plato, exposes and overcomes the nominalistic and anti-miracle prejudices of historiography in his day. The resulting view of history is fallibilistic, realistic and evolutionary, in which miracles are not violations of laws of nature but are to be expected as evolutionary variations that form part of the ongoing self-revelation of the cosmos. Miracles, like all events in history, must not be viewed prejudicially by adherents or detractors, but must be taken into careful account in the grand induction of history and science. (shrink)
Liberal egalitarianism is commonly criticized for being insufficiently sensitive to status inequalities and the effects of misrecognition. I examine this criticism as it applies to Ronald Dworkin’s ‘equality of resources’ and argue that, in fact, liberal egalitarians possess the resources to deal effectively with recognition-type issues. More precisely, while conceding that the distributive principles required to realize equality of resources must apply against a particular institutional background, I point out, following Dworkin, that among the principles guiding this background is a (...) ‘principle of independence,’ and that this principle, properly interpreted, requires government to protect people against the disadvantageous effects of wrongful prejudicial discrimination. Moreover, I give an account of wrongful prejudice which is grounded in a particular interpretation of the abstract egalitarian principle Dworkin requires for a government to be legitimate and which goes a long way toward acknowledging status inequalities. Finally, I suggest other resources within the theory for responding to residual problems of recognition not addressed by the principle of independence. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a special kind of injustice I call “trust injustice.” Taking Miranda Fricker's work on epistemic injustice as my starting point, I argue that there are some ethical constraints on trust relationships. If I am right about this, then we sometimes have duties to maintain trust relationships that are independent of the social roles we play.
In 2003 my book After the Terror in its German translation was condemned as anti semitic by a professor of education at Frankfurt University, Micha Brumlik, also the director of an institute for the study of the Holocaust. The next day the famous German philosopher Jurgen Habermas wrote in the same liberal newspaper, The Frankfurter Rundschau , that the book was not anti semitic. However, he wrote so condescendingly as to distance himself from something charged with anti semitism -- and (...) also as to make it incomprehensible why he himself had secured its translation by the distinguished publishing house, Suhrkamp. (shrink)
In this paper I critique the ethical implications of automating CCTV surveillance. I consider three modes of CCTV with respect to automation: manual (or non-automated), fully automated, and partially automated. In each of these I examine concerns posed by processing capacity, prejudice towards and profiling of surveilled subjects, and false positives and false negatives. While it might seem as if fully automated surveillance is an improvement over the manual alternative in these areas, I demonstrate that this is not necessarily (...) the case. In preference to the extremes I argue in favour of partial automation in which the system integrates a human CCTV operator with some level of automation. To assess the degree to which such a system should be automated I draw on the further issues of privacy and distance. Here I argue that the privacy of the surveilled subject can benefit from automation, while the distance between the surveilled subject and the CCTV operator introduced by automation can have both positive and negative effects. I conclude that in at least the majority of cases more automation is preferable to less within a partially automated system where this does not impinge on efficacy. (shrink)
In this paper, we challenge the usual argument which says that competition is a fair mechanism because it ranks individuals according to their relative preferences between effort and leisure. This argument, we claim, is very insufficient as a justification of fairness in competition, and we show that it does not stand up to scrutiny once various dynamic aspects of competition are taken into account. Once the sequential unfolding of competition is taken into account, competition turns out to be unfair even (...) if the usual fairness argument is upheld. We distinguish between two notions of fairness, which we call U-fairness, where U stands for the usual fairness notion, and S-fairness, where S stands for the sequential aspect of competition. The sequential unfairness of competition, we argue, comprises two usually neglected aspects connected with losses of freedom: first of all, there is an eclipse of preferences in the sense that even perfectly calculating competitors do not carry out a trade-off between effort and ranking; and second, competitive dynamics leads to single-mindedness because the constraints on the competitors choices always operate in the sense of increased competitiveness and, therefore, in the direction of an increased effort requirements. We argue (1) that competition is S-unfair even if it is U-fair, (2) that as S-unfairness increases, the ethical relevance of U-fairness itself vanishes, so that (3) by focusing as they usually do on U-fairness alone, economists neglect a deeper aspect of unfairness. (shrink)
The coverage is based on a research paper Insidious Discrimination? Disentangling the Beauty Premium on a Game Show which examined the strategic behaviour of participants on a Dutch TV game show Shafted.
Abstract Evidence that supports a theory may be available to the scientist who constructs the theory and used as a guide to that construction, or it may only be discovered in the course of testing the theory. The central claim of this essay is that information about whether the evidence was accommodated or predicted affects the rational degree of confidence one ought to have in the theory. Only when the evidence is accommodated is there some reason to believe that the (...) theoretical system was ?fudged? to fit the evidence in a way that weakens support. This weakening is an objective matter, but not one that can be conclusively determined by examining the contents of the theory and its logical relationship to the evidence. Consequently, there is less reason to believe a theory on the basis of that evidence when it is known that the evidence was accommodated than there would be if it was known instead that the same evidence had been predicted. (shrink)