Disputatio 10 (50):217-244 (2018)

Jennifer Saul
University of Waterloo
As the phenomenon of implicit bias has become increasingly widely known and accepted, a variety of criticisms have similarly gained in prominence. This paper focuses on one particular set of criticisms, generally made from the political left, of what Sally Haslanger calls “implicit bias stories”—a broad term encompassing a wide range of discourses from media discussions to academic papers to implicit bias training. According to this line of thought, implicit bias stories are counterproductive because they serve to distract from the structural and institutional factors that underlie oppression of social groups. This paper argues on the contrary that implicit bias stories, properly told, can help direct attention and concern to structural and institutional factors, and indeed may be especially helpful in motiving action. The key, however, is to tell these stories properly. When implicit bias sto- ries are told in the wrong way, they are indeed counterproductive. This paper looks in detail at several examples of good and bad implicit bias stories, examining what makes some of them counterproductive and others highly effective in motivating action to combat social injustice.
Keywords Implicit bias  Racism
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DOI 10.2478/disp-2018-0014
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References found in this work BETA

Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression.Kristie Dotson - 2014 - Social Epistemology 28 (2):115-138.
On the Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (1):33-63.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Oppressive Things.Shen-yi Liao & Bryce Huebner - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
A Tale of Two Doctrines: Moral Encroachment and Doxastic Wronging.Rima Basu - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Applied Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Science Communication and the Problematic Impact of Descriptive Norms.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - British Journal for Philosophy of Science.
Why We Should Keep Talking About Fake News.Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson & Rachel Sterken - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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