Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78 (2017)
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Abstract

Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious, ‘introspectively inaccessible’ attitudes. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence of partial awareness for individuals’ moral responsibility. First, I argue that responsibility comes in degrees. Second, I argue that individuals’ partial awareness of their implicit biases makes them (partially) morally responsible for them. I argue by analogy to a close relative of implicit bias: moods.

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Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Responsibility for Justice.Iris Marion Young - 2011 - , US: Oxford University Press USA.

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