Why implicit attitudes are (probably) not beliefs

Synthese 193 (8) (2016)
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Abstract

Should we understand implicit attitudes on the model of belief? I argue that implicit attitudes are (probably) members of a different psychological kind altogether, because they seem to be insensitive to the logical form of an agent’s thoughts and perceptions. A state is sensitive to logical form only if it is sensitive to the logical constituents of the content of other states (e.g., operators like negation and conditional). I explain sensitivity to logical form and argue that it is a necessary condition for belief. I appeal to two areas of research that seem to show that implicit attitudes fail spectacularly to satisfy this condition—although persistent gaps in the empirical literature leave matters inconclusive. I sketch an alternative account, according to which implicit attitudes are sensitive merely to spatiotemporal relations in thought and perception, i.e., the spatial and temporal orders in which people think, see, or hear things.

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Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Citations of this work

Racism, Ideology, and Social Movements.Sally Haslanger - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (1):1-22.
Imaginative Beliefs.Joshua Myers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Implicit bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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