Mind and Language 34 (5):627-647 (2019)

Authors
Ema Sullivan-Bissett
University of Birmingham
Abstract
I propose a new model of implicit bias, according to which implicit biases are constituted by unconscious imaginings. I begin by endorsing a principle of parsimony when confronted with unfamiliar phenomena. I introduce implicit bias in terms congenial to what most philosophers and psychologists have said about their nature in the literature so far, before moving to a discussion of the doxastic model of implicit bias and objections to it. I then introduce unconscious imagination and argue that appeal to it does not represent a departure from a standard view of imagination, before outlining my model and showing how it accommodates characteristic features of implicit bias. I argue for its advantages over the doxastic model: it does not violate the parsimony principle, it does not face any of the objections so far raised to doxasticism, and it can accommodate the heterogeneity in the category of implicit bias. Finally, I address whether my view limits our ability to hold people accountable for their biases (it does not), and whether it is consistent with what we know about intervention strategies (it is). I conclude that implicit biases are constituted by unconscious imaginings.
Keywords Implicit bias  belief  imagination  association
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12225
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References found in this work BETA

Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
Is Conceivability a Guide to Possibility?Stephen Yablo - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1):1-42.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1193-1236.
Imagination and Belief in Action.Anna Ichino - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1517-1534.
The Rational Dynamics of Implicit Thought.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

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