Philosophical Issues (forthcoming)

Aness Kim Webster
Nottingham University
Many have attempted to justify various courts’ position that bare or naked statistical evidence is not sufficient for findings of liability. I provide a particular explanation by examining a different, but related, issue about when and why stereotyping is wrong. One natural explanation of wrongness of stereotyping appeals to agency. However, this has been scrutinised. In this paper, I argue that we should broaden our understanding of when and how our agency can be undermined. In particular, I argue that when we take seriously that our agency is exercised in the social world, we can see that stereotyping can and does undermine our agency by fixing the social meaning of our choices and actions as well as by reducing the quality and the kinds of choices that are available to us. Although this improves the agency-based explanation, it must be noted that undermining agency is not an overriding reason against stereotyping. Much depends on the balance of reasons that take into account moral stakes involved in a case of stereotyping. This results in a messier picture of when and why stereotyping is wrong, but I argue that this is a feature, not a bug. I end by applying this agency-based explanation to cases that have motivated the so-called Proof Paradoxes.
Keywords Proof Paradoxes  Generics  Stereotyping  Agency
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DOI 10.1111/phis.12191
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The Wrongs of Racist Beliefs.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.

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