Philosophical Studies 166 (2):217-229 (2013)

Tamar Gendler argues that, for those living in a society in which race is a salient sociological feature, it is impossible to be fully rational: members of such a society must either fail to encode relevant information containing race, or suffer epistemic costs by being implicitly racist. However, I argue that, although Gendler calls attention to a pitfall worthy of study, she fails to conclusively demonstrate that there are epistemic (or cognitive) costs of being racist. Gendler offers three supporting phenomena. First, implicit racists expend cognitive energy repressing their implicit biases. I reply, citing Ellen Bialystok’s research, that constant use of executive functioning can be beneficial. Second, Gendler argues that awareness of a negative stereotype of one’s own race with regard to a given task negatively affects one’s performance of that task. This phenomenon, I argue, demonstrates that those against whom the stigma is directed suffer costs, but it fails to demonstrate that the stigmatizers suffer cognitively. Finally, Gendler argues that racists are less competent when recognizing faces of other races than when recognizing faces of their own race because, in the first instance, they encode the race of the face (taking up cognitive space that could have been used to encode fine-grained distinctions), whereas in the second instance they encode no race. I argue that in-group/out-group categorization rather than racism is the cognitive cost. I conclude that Gendler has failed to demonstrate that there are cognitive costs associated with being a racist
Keywords Implicit racism  Implicit belief  Bias  Alief  Tamar Gendler  Stereotype-threat  Cross-race facial deficit  Executive function
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0036-z
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References found in this work BETA

Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
On the Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):33-63.
Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 1996 - The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 17:51-136.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dissolving the Epistemic/Ethical Dilemma Over Implicit Bias.Katherine Puddifoot - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):73-93.
Implicit Racial Bias and Epistemic Pessimism.Charles Lassiter & Nathan Ballantyne - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (1-2):79-101.
How Not to Deal with the Tragic Dilemma.Joshua Mugg - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (3):253-264.
Stereotyping Patients.Katherine Puddifoot - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 50 (1):69-90.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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