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  1. Generic inferential rules for slurs: Dummett and Williamson on ethnic pejoratives.Pasi Valtonen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6533-6551.
    Michael Dummett has proposed an influential analysis of the meaning of ethnic and racial slurs based on inferential rules. Timothy Williamson, however, finds the analysis problematic. It does not seem to explain how slurs are actually used. Williamson’s challenge for the inferentialist account of slurs has not gone unnoticed. In this article, I first discuss the debate between the inferentialists and Williamson. I argue that the inferentialist responses concentrate on the wrong issue and the real issue in Williamson’s challenge is (...)
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  • What should scientists do about (harmful) interactive effects?Caterina Marchionni & Marion Godman - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (4):1-16.
    The phenomenon of interactive human kinds, namely kinds of people that undergo change in reaction to being studied or theorised about, matters not only for the reliability of scientific claims, but also for its wider, sometimes harmful effects at the group or societal level, such as contributing to negative stigmas or reinforcing existing inequalities. This paper focuses on the latter aspect of interactivity and argues that scientists studying interactive human kinds are responsible for foreseeing harmful effects of their research and (...)
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  • Transparency in Algorithmic and Human Decision-Making: Is There a Double Standard?John Zerilli, Alistair Knott, James Maclaurin & Colin Gavaghan - 2019 - Philosophy and Technology 32 (4):661-683.
    We are sceptical of concerns over the opacity of algorithmic decision tools. While transparency and explainability are certainly important desiderata in algorithmic governance, we worry that automated decision-making is being held to an unrealistically high standard, possibly owing to an unrealistically high estimate of the degree of transparency attainable from human decision-makers. In this paper, we review evidence demonstrating that much human decision-making is fraught with transparency problems, show in what respects AI fares little worse or better and argue that (...)
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  • What a Loaded Generalization: Generics and Social Cognition.Daniel Wodak, Sarah-Jane Leslie & Marjorie Rhodes - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (9):625-635.
    This paper explores the role of generics in social cognition. First, we explore the nature and effects of the most common form of generics about social kinds. Second, we discuss the nature and effects of a less common but equally important form of generics about social kinds. Finally, we consider the implications of this discussion for how we ought to use language about the social world.
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  • Of Witches and White Folks.Daniel Wodak - 2022 - Wiley: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):587-605.
    A central debate in philosophy of race is between eliminativists and conservationists about what we ought do with ‘race’ talk. ‘Eliminativism’ is often defined such that it’s committed to holding that (a) ‘race’ is vacuous and races don’t exist, so (b) we should eliminate the term ‘race’ from our vocabulary. As a stipulative definition, that’s fine. But as an account of one of the main theoretical options in the debate, it’s a serious mistake. I offer three arguments for why eliminativism (...)
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  • The imagination model of implicit bias.Anna Welpinghus - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1611-1633.
    We can understand implicit bias as a person’s disposition to evaluate members of a social group in a less favorable light than members of another social group, without intending to do so. If we understand it this way, we should not presuppose a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how implicit cognitive states lead to skewed evaluations of other people. The focus of this paper is on implicit bias in considered decisions. It is argued that we have good reasons to (...)
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  • Genericity generalized.Alnica Visser - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    In his Between Logic and the World, in the course of presenting his theory of generics, Nickel argues for a theory of characteristicness, or “genericity”, which states that a property is characteristic for a kind if and only if its presence among the members of that kind is explicable by some explanatory domain that recognizes the existence of that kind in the course of engaging the explanatory strategies made available by that explanatory domain. I argue that this notion of genericity (...)
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  • Structural thinking about social categories: Evidence from formal explanations, generics, and generalization.Nadya Vasilyeva & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Cognition 204 (C):104383.
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  • Generic inferential rules for slurs and contrasting senses.Pasi Valtonen - 2022 - Theoria 88 (5):1037-1052.
    This article offers a new perspective on the relationship between slurring terms and their neutral counterparts with an inferentialist view of slurs. I argue that slurs and their counterparts are coextensional with contrasting senses. Crucially, the proposed inferentialist view overcomes the combination of two challenges: Kaplanian inferences and the substitution argument. The previous views cannot account for both of them.
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  • Generic View of Gendered Slurs and the Subset Argument.Pasi Valtonen - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4):762-779.
    The neutral counterpart assumption is widely accepted in the study of slurs. It provides a simple and effective explanation for the meaning of slurs. Slurring terms are coextensional with their neutral counterparts. However, Lauren Ashwell (2016) has questioned this assumption. She argues that gendered slurs refer to a subset of their neutral counterparts. Hence, slurs are not coextensional with their counterparts. She goes on to present a view that is not based on the counterpart assumption. Still, her view is a (...)
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  • Differences in the Evaluation of Generic Statements About Human and Non‐Human Categories.Arber Tasimi, Susan Gelman, Andrei Cimpian & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (7):1934-1957.
    Generic statements express generalizations about categories. Current theories suggest that people should be especially inclined to accept generics that involve threatening information. However, previous tests of this claim have focused on generics about non-human categories, which raises the question of whether this effect applies as readily to human categories. In Experiment 1, adults were more likely to accept generics involving a threatening property for artifacts, but this negativity bias did not also apply to human categories. Experiment 2 examined an alternative (...)
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  • Characterizing generics are material inference tickets: a proof-theoretic analysis.Preston Stovall - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-37.
    ABSTRACTAn adequate semantics for generic sentences must stake out positions across a range of contested territory in philosophy and linguistics. For this reason the study of generic sentences is a venue for investigating different frameworks for understanding human rationality as manifested in linguistic phenomena such as quantification, classification of individuals under kinds, defeasible reasoning, and intensionality. Despite the wide variety of semantic theories developed for generic sentences, to date these theories have been almost universally model-theoretic and representational. This essay outlines (...)
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  • Leslie on Generics.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2493-2512.
    This paper offers three objections to Leslie’s recent and already influential theory of generics :375–403, 2007a, Philos Rev 117:1–47, 2008): her proposed metaphysical truth-conditions are subject to systematic counter-examples, the proposed disquotational semantics fails, and there is evidence that generics do not express cognitively primitive generalisations.
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  • The ‘should’ in conceptual engineering.Mona Simion - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):914-928.
    ABSTRACTSeveral philosophers have inquired into the metaphysical limits of conceptual engineering: ‘Can we engineer? And if so, to what extent?’. This paper is not concerned with answering these questions. It does concern itself, however, with the limits of conceptual engineering, albeit in a largely unexplored sense: it cares about the normative, rather than about the metaphysical limits thereof. I first defend an optimistic claim: I argue that the ameliorative project has, so far, been too modest; there is little value theoretic (...)
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  • Conceptual Innovation, Function First.Mona Simion & Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):985-1002.
    Can we engineer conceptual change? While a positive answer to this question would be exciting news for philosophy, there has been a growing number of pessimistic voices in the literature. This paper resists this trend. Its central aim is to argue not only that conceptual engineering is possible but also that it is not even distinctively hard. In order to achieve this, we will develop a novel approach to conceptual engineering that has two key components. First, it proposes a reorientation (...)
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  • Resisting Wrongful Explanations.Arianne Shahvisi - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (2).
    In this paper I explore a method for refusing uptake when explanations are morally and epistemically troubling. Gaile Pohlhaus Jr has shown that imploring marginalised people to “understand” marginalising practices amounts to a request that they legitimise their own marginalisation. In this paper, I expand upon this analysis with the aim of describing a method for withholding understanding. First, I analyse understanding through its association with explanation. Drawing on pragmatic theories, I describe explanations as speech acts whose success depends on (...)
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  • Genericity and Inductive Inference.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    We are often justified in acting on the basis of evidential confirmation. I argue that such evidence supports belief in non-quantificational generic generalizations, rather than universally quantified generalizations. I show how this account supports, rather than undermines, a Bayesian account of confirmation. Induction from confirming instances of a generalization to belief in the corresponding generic is part of a reasoning instinct that is typically (but not always) correct, and allows us to approximate the predictions that formal epistemology would make.
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  • Profiling, Neutrality, and Social Equality.Lewis Ross - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):808-824.
    I argue that traditional views on which beliefs are subject only to purely epistemic assessment can reject demographic profiling, even when based on seemingly robust evidence. This is because the moral failures involved in demographic profiling can be located in the decision not to suspend judgment, rather than supposing that beliefs themselves are a locus of moral evaluation. A key moral reason to suspend judgment when faced with adverse demographic evidence is to promote social equality—this explains why positive profiling is (...)
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  • Should We Use Racial and Gender Generics?Katherine Ritchie - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):33-41.
    Recently several philosophers have argued that racial, gender, and other social generic generalizations should be avoided given their propensity to promote essentialist thinking, obscure the social nature of categories, and contribute to oppression. Here I argue that a general prohibition against social generics goes too far. Given that the truth of many generics require regularities or systematic rather than mere accidental correlations, they are our best means for describing structural forms of violence and discrimination. Moreover, their accuracy, their persistence in (...)
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  • Essentializing Language and the Prospects for Ameliorative Projects.Katherine Ritchie - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):460-488.
    Some language encourages essentialist thinking. While philosophers have largely focused on generics and essentialism, I argue that nouns as a category are poised to refer to kinds and to promote representational essentializing. Our psychological propensity to essentialize when nouns are used reveals a limitation for anti-essentialist ameliorative projects. Even ameliorated nouns can continue to underpin essentialist thinking. I conclude by arguing that representational essentialism does not doom anti-essentialist ameliorative projects. Rather it reveals that would-be ameliorators ought to attend to the (...)
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  • Implicit Bias and Discrimination.Katharina Berndt Rasmussen - 2020 - Theoria 86 (6):727-748.
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  • Conceptual distinctions amongst generics.Sandeep Prasada, Sangeet Khemlani, Sarah-Jane Leslie & Sam Glucksberg - 2013 - Cognition 126 (3):405-422.
    Generic sentences (e.g., bare plural sentences such as “dogs have four legs” and “mosquitoes carry malaria”) are used to talk about kinds of things. Three experiments investigated the conceptual foundations of generics as well as claims within the formal semantic approaches to generics concerning the roles of prevalence, cue validity and normalcy in licensing generics. Two classes of generic sentences that pose challenges to both the conceptually based and formal semantic approaches to generics were investigated. Striking property generics (e.g. “sharks (...)
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  • Addiction and the self.Hanna Pickard - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Generalization Bias in Science.Uwe Peters, Alexander Krauss & Oliver Braganza - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (9):e13188.
  • Against the philosophical project of “biologizing” race.Anthony F. Peressini - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (5):593-615.
    This paper critiques philosophical efforts to biologize race as racial projects (Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the United States). The paper argues that the deeply social phenomenon of race defies the analytic schema employed by biologizing philosophers. The very (social) act of theorizing race is already in an involuted relationship with its target concept: analyzing race must be seen as a racial project, in that it simultaneously helps to manage how race is represented in society and helps organize society’s (...)
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  • The Radical Account of Bare Plural Generics.Anthony Nguyen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1303-1331.
    Bare plural generic sentences pervade ordinary talk. And yet it is extremely controversial what semantics to assign to such sentences. In this paper, I achieve two tasks. First, I develop a novel classification of the various standard uses to which bare plurals may be put. This “variety data” is important—it gives rise to much of the difficulty in systematically theorizing about bare plurals. Second, I develop a novel account of bare plurals, the radical account. On this account, all bare plurals (...)
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  • Psychological Essentialism and the Structure of Concepts.Eleonore Neufeld - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12823.
    Psychological essentialism is the hypothesis that humans represent some categories as having an underlying essence that unifies members of a category and is causally responsible for their typical attributes and behaviors. Throughout the past several decades, psychological essentialism has emerged as an extremely active area of research in cognitive science. More recently, it has also attracted attention from philosophers, who put the empirical results to use in many different philosophical areas, ranging from philosophy of mind and cognitive science to social (...)
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  • Can we perceive mental states?Eleonore Neufeld - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2245-2269.
    In this paper, I defend Non-Inferentialism about mental states, the view that we can perceive some mental states in a direct, non-inferential way. First, I discuss how the question of mental state perception is to be understood in light of recent debates in the philosophy of perception, and reconstruct Non-Inferentialism in a way that makes the question at hand—whether we can perceive mental states or not—scientifically tractable. Next, I motivate Non-Inferentialism by showing that under the assumption of the widely-accepted Principle (...)
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  • Different Selection Pressures Give Rise to Distinct Ethnic Phenomena.Cristina Moya & Robert Boyd - 2015 - Human Nature 26 (1):1-27.
  • Essentialist Beliefs About Bodily Transplants in the United States and India.Meredith Meyer, Sarah-Jane Leslie, Susan A. Gelman & Sarah M. Stilwell - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (1):668-710.
    Psychological essentialism is the belief that some internal, unseen essence or force determines the common outward appearances and behaviors of category members. We investigated whether reasoning about transplants of bodily elements showed evidence of essentialist thinking. Both Americans and Indians endorsed the possibility of transplants conferring donors' personality, behavior, and luck on recipients, consistent with essentialism. Respondents also endorsed essentialist effects even when denying that transplants would change a recipient's category membership (e.g., predicting that a recipient of a pig's heart (...)
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  • Was Race thinking invented in the modern West?Ron Mallon - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):77-88.
    The idea that genuinely racial thinking is a modern invention is widespread in the humanities and social sciences. However, it is not always clear exactly what the content of such a conceptual break is supposed to be. One suggestion is that with the scientific revolution emerged a conception of human groups that possessed essences that were thought to explain group-typical features of individuals as well the accumulated products of cultures or civilizations. However, recent work by cognitive and evolutionary psychologists suggests (...)
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  • Generics Oversimplified.Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2015 - Noûs 49 (1):28-54.
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  • Can 'More Speech' Counter Ignorant Speech?Maxime Charles Lepoutre - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (3).
    Ignorant speech, which spreads falsehoods about people and policies, is pervasive in public discourse. A popular response to this problem recommends countering ignorant speech with more speech, rather than legal regulations. However, Mary Kate McGowan has influentially argued that this ‘counterspeech’ response is flawed, as it overlooks the asymmetric pliability of conversational norms: the phenomenon whereby some conversational norms are easier to enact than subsequently to reverse. After demonstrating that this conversational ‘stickiness’ is an even broader concern for counterspeech than (...)
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  • Falsifying generic stereotypes.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2293-2312.
    Generic stereotypes are generically formulated generalizations that express a stereotype, like “Mexican immigrants are rapists” and “Muslims are terrorists.” Stereotypes like these are offensive and should not be asserted by anyone. Yet when someone does assert a sentence like this in a conversation, it is surprisingly difficult to successfully rebut it. The meaning of generic sentences is such that they can be true in several different ways. As a result, a speaker who is challenged after asserting a generic stereotype can (...)
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  • Generalizing About Striking Properties: Do Glippets Love to Play With Fire?Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Napoleon Katsos & Linnaea Stockall - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Two experiments investigated whether 4- and 5-year-old children are sensitive to whether the content of a generalization is about a salient or noteworthy property (henceforth “striking”) and whether varying the number of exceptions has any effect on children’s willingness to extend a property after having heard a generalization. Moreover, they investigated how the content of a generalization interacts with exception tolerance. Adult data were collected for comparison. We used generalizations to describe novel kinds (e.g., “glippets”) that had either a neutral (...)
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  • The Logic and Normative Force of Dual-Character Generics: Towards a Theoretical Model for the Study of Normatively Shifted Predications.Aleksandra Kowalewska-Buraczewska - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 61 (1):113-126.
    This paper investigates the relationship between generic statements and the expression, transmission and persistence of social norms. The author presents the concept of normativity and its importance in the decision-making process in the context of social reality and social norms that comprise it. The paper analyses the idea of “what is normal” to show how social norms are triggered by particular generic constructions relating to “social kinds”, represented by noun phrases denoting “dual character concepts”. DCCs are shown as effectively serving (...)
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  • Speak no ill of the dead: the dead as a social group.Tom Kaspers, Jacob LiBrizzi, Duccio Calosi & Yoichi Kobe - 2022 - Synthese 210 (200):1-17.
    In her recent article “The Ontology of Social Groups”, Thomasson (Synthese 196:4829–4845, 2019) argues that social groups can be characterized in terms of the norms that surround them. We show that according to Thomasson’s normativity-based criterion, the dead constitute a social group, since there are widespread and well-defined social norms as to how to treat the dead, such as the norm expressed in the title (“Speak no ill of the dead”). We argue that the example of the dead must not (...)
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  • Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction.Lee Jussim - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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  • Trust, distrust, and affective looping.Karen Jones - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):955-968.
    In this article, I explore the role of affective feedback loops in creating and sustaining trust and distrust. Some emotions, such as fear and contempt, drive out trust; others, such as esteem and empathy, drive out distrust. The mechanism here is causal, but not merely causal: affective looping works through changing how the agent interprets the words, deeds, and motives of the other, thus making trust or distrust appear justified. Looping influences not only dyadic trust, but also climates, and networks (...)
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  • The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1193-1236.
    What is a bias? Standard philosophical views of both implicit and explicit bias focus this question on the representations one harbours, for example, stereotypes or implicit attitudes, rather than the ways in which those representations are manipulated. I call this approach representationalism. In this paper, I argue that representationalism taken as a general theory of psychological social bias is a mistake, because it conceptualizes bias in ways that do not fully capture the phenomenon. Crucially, this view fails to capture a (...)
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  • Concepts, analysis, generics and the canberra plan.Mark Johnston & Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):113-171.
  • Language Signaling High Proportions and Generics Lead to Generalizing, but Not Essentializing, for Novel Social Kinds.Elena Hoicka, Jennifer Saul, Eloise Prouten, Laura Whitehead & Rachel Sterken - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (11):e13051.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 45, Issue 11, November 2021.
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  • Generics as instructions.Samia Hesni - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12587-12602.
    Generic claims like ‘women stay home and raise children’ and ‘boys don’t cry’ are normative generics: generic claims that express a norm. The truth conditions of normative generics are even harder to account for than those for more descriptive generics like ‘ducks lay eggs.’ Until recently, such generics were treated as deviant and thus not accounted for in standard accounts of generics. But recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of normative generics has changed that. In light of this recent (...)
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  • Epistemological solipsism as a route to external world skepticism.Grace Helton - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):229-250.
    I show that some of the most initially attractive routes of refuting epistemological solipsism face serious obstacles. I also argue that for creatures like ourselves, solipsism is a genuine form of external world skepticism. I suggest that together these claims suggest the following morals: No proposed solution to external world skepticism can succeed which does not also solve the problem of epistemological solipsism. And, more tentatively: In assessing proposed solutions to external world skepticism, epistemologists should explicitly consider whether those solutions (...)
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  • Stop Talking about Fake News!Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1033-1065.
    Since 2016, there has been an explosion of academic work and journalism that fixes its subject matter using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. In this paper, I argue that this terminology is not up to scratch, and that academics and journalists ought to completely stop using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. I set out three arguments for abandonment. First, that ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ do not have stable public meanings, entailing that they are either nonsense, context-sensitive, or contested. (...)
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  • Fake news, conceptual engineering, and linguistic resistance: reply to Pepp, Michaelson and Sterken, and Brown.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):488-516.
    ABSTRACT In Habgood-Coote : 1033–1065) I argued that we should abandon ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’, on the grounds that these terms do not have stable public meanings, are unnecessary, and function as vehicles for propaganda. Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson, and Rachel Sterken and Étienne Brown : 144–154) have raised worries about my case for abandonment, recommending that we continue using ‘fake news’. In this paper, I respond to these worries. I distinguish more clearly between theoretical and political reasons for abandoning (...)
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  • The importance of self‐knowledge for free action.Joseph Gurrola - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Much has been made about the ways that implicit biases and other apparently unreflective attitudes can affect our actions and judgments in ways that negatively affect our ability to do right. What has been discussed less is that these attitudes negatively affect our freedom. In this paper, I argue that implicit biases pose a problem for free will. My analysis focuses on the compatibilist notion of free will according to which acting freely consists in acting in accordance with our reflectively (...)
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  • On the epistemic costs of implicit bias.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):33-63.
  • I—Tamar Szabó Gendler: The Third Horse: On Unendorsed Association and Human Behaviour.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2014 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 88 (1):185-218.
    On one standard reading, Plato's works contain at least two distinct views about the structure of the human soul. According to the first, there is a crucial unity to human psychology: there is a dominant faculty that is capable of controlling attention and behaviour in a way that not only produces right action, but also ‘silences’ inclinations to the contrary—at least in idealized circumstances. According to the second, the human soul contains multiple autonomous parts, and although one of them, reason, (...)
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  • Speaking of Kinds: How Correcting Generic Statements can Shape Children's Concepts.Emily Foster-Hanson, Sarah-Jane Leslie & Marjorie Rhodes - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (12):e13223.
    Generic language (e.g., “tigers have stripes”) leads children to assume that the referenced category (e.g., tigers) is inductively informative and provides a causal explanation for the behavior of individual members. In two preregistered studies with 4- to 7-year-old children (N = 497), we considered the mechanisms underlying these effects by testing how correcting generics might affect the development of these beliefs about novel social and animal kinds (Study 1) and about gender (Study 2). Correcting generics by narrowing their scope to (...)
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