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Michael Brownstein
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
  1. Understanding Implicit Bias: Putting the Criticism Into Perspective.Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):276-307.
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    Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Implicit bias” is a term of art referring to relatively unconscious and relatively automatic features of prejudiced judgment and social behavior. While psychologists in the field of “implicit social cognition” study “implicit attitudes” toward consumer products, self-esteem, food, alcohol, political values, and more, the most striking and well-known research has focused on implicit attitudes toward members of socially stigmatized groups, such as African-Americans, women, and the LGBTQ community.[1] For example, imagine Frank, who explicitly believes that women and men are equally (...)
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  3. Individualism, Structuralism, and Climate Change.Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Daniel Kelly - 2021 - Environmental Communication 1.
    Scholars, journalists, and activists working on climate change often distinguish between “individual” and “structural” approaches to decarbonization. The former concern choices individuals can make to reduce their “personal carbon footprint” (e.g., eating less meat). The latter concern changes to institutions, laws, and other social structures. These two approaches are often framed as oppositional, representing a mutually exclusive forced choice between alternative routes to decarbonization. After presenting representative samples of this oppositional framing of individual and structural approaches in environmental communication, we (...)
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  4. Stereotypes, Prejudice, and the Taxonomy of the Implicit Social Mind.Alex Madva & Michael Brownstein - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):611-644.
    How do cognition and affect interact to produce action? Research in intergroup psychology illuminates this question by investigating the relationship between stereotypes and prejudices about social groups. Yet it is now clear that many social attitudes are implicit. This raises the question: how does the distinction between cognition and affect apply to implicit mental states? An influential view—roughly analogous to a Humean theory of action—is that “implicit stereotypes” and “implicit prejudices” constitute two separate constructs, reflecting different mental processes and neural (...)
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  5.  5
    The Implicit Mind: Cognitive Architecture, the Self, and Ethics.Michael Brownstein - 2018 - Oup Usa.
    The central contention of The Implicit Mind is that understanding the two faces of spontaneity-its virtues and vices-requires understanding the "implicit mind." In turn, Michael Brownstein maintains that understanding the implicit mind requires the consideration of three sets of questions. First, what are implicit mental states? What kind of cognitive structure do they have? Second, how should we relate to our implicit attitudes? Are we responsible for them? Third, how can we improve the ethics of our implicit minds?
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  6. What Do Implicit Measures Measure?Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2019 - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-13.
    We identify several ongoing debates related to implicit measures, surveying prominent views and considerations in each debate. First, we summarize the debate regarding whether performance on implicit measures is explained by conscious or unconscious representations. Second, we discuss the cognitive structure of the operative constructs: are they associatively or propositionally structured? Third, we review debates whether performance on implicit measures reflects traits or states. Fourth, we discuss the question of whether a person’s performance on an implicit measure reflects characteristics of (...)
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  7. Attributionism and Moral Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):765-786.
    Implicit intergroup biases have been shown to impact social behavior in many unsettling ways, from disparities in decisions to “shoot” black and white men in a computer simulation to unequal gender-based evaluations of résumés and CVs. It is a difficult question whether, and in what way, agents are responsible for behaviors affected by implicit biases. I argue that in paradigmatic cases agents are responsible for these behaviors in the sense that the behavior is “attributable” to them. That is, behaviors affected (...)
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  8. Rationalizing Flow: Agency in Skilled Unreflective Action.Michael Brownstein - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):545-568.
    In recent work, Peter Railton, Julia Annas, and David Velleman aim to reconcile the phenomenon of “flow”—broadly understood as describing the “unreflective” aspect of skilled action—with one or another familiar conception of agency. While there are important differences between their arguments, Railton, Annas, and Velleman all make, or are committed to, at least one similar pivotal claim. Each argues, directly or indirectly, that agents who perform skilled unreflective actions can, in principle, accurately answer “Anscombean” questions—”what” and “why” questions— about what (...)
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  9. Doing Without Believing: Intellectualism, Knowledge-How, and Belief-Attribution.Michael Brownstein & Eliot Michaelson - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2815–2836.
    We consider a range of cases—both hypothetical and actual—in which agents apparently know how to \ but fail to believe that the way in which they in fact \ is a way for them to \. These “no-belief” cases present a prima facie problem for Intellectualism about knowledge-how. The problem is this: if knowledge-that entails belief, and if knowing how to \ just is knowing that some w is a way for one to \, then an agent cannot both know (...)
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  10. Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2: Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics.Michael Brownstein & Jennifer Saul (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    There is abundant evidence that most people, often in spite of their conscious beliefs, values and attitudes, have implicit biases. 'Implicit bias' is a term of art referring to evaluations of social groups that are largely outside conscious awareness or control. These evaluations are typically thought to involve associations between social groups and concepts or roles like 'violent,' 'lazy,' 'nurturing,' 'assertive,' 'scientist,' and so on. Such associations result at least in part from common stereotypes found in contemporary liberal societies about (...)
     
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  11.  11
    Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology.Michael Brownstein & Jennifer Saul (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Most people show unconscious bias in their evaluations of social groups, in ways that may run counter to their conscious beliefs. This volume addresses key metaphysical and epistemological questions about implicit bias, including its effect on scientific research, gender stereotypes in philosophy, and the role of heuristics in biased reasoning.
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  12. Context and the Ethics of Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - In Implicit Bias and Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  13. The Normativity of Automaticity.Michael Brownstein & Alex Madva - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):410-434.
    While the causal contributions of so-called ‘automatic’ processes to behavior are now widely acknowledged, less attention has been given to their normative role in the guidance of action. We develop an account of the normativity of automaticity that responds to and builds upon Tamar Szabó Gendler's account of ‘alief’, an associative and arational mental state more primitive than belief. Alief represents a promising tool for integrating psychological research on automaticity with philosophical work on mind and action, but Gendler errs in (...)
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  14. Ethical Automaticity.Michael Brownstein & Alex Madva - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (1):68-98.
    Social psychologists tell us that much of human behavior is automatic. It is natural to think that automatic behavioral dispositions are ethically desirable if and only if they are suitably governed by an agent’s reflective judgments. However, we identify a class of automatic dispositions that make normatively self-standing contributions to praiseworthy action and a well-lived life, independently of, or even in spite of, an agent’s reflective judgments about what to do. We argue that the fundamental questions for the "ethics of (...)
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  15.  74
    Review of The Evolution of Moral Progress: A Biocultural Theory by Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell. [REVIEW]Michael Brownstein & Daniel Kelly - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Review of Books 1:1-14.
    Allen Buchanan and Russel Powell’s The Evolution of Moral Progress (EMP) is likely to become a landmark. It adeptly builds on much of the recent empirical work, weaving it together with philosophical material drawn from a series of essays published by the two authors. EMP makes the case that moral progress is not only consistent with human psychology but—under some conditions—likely. At its heart is a careful, well-developed rebuttal to the idea that there are evolved constraints endogenous to human minds (...)
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  16. How Should We Think About Implicit Measures and Their Empirical “Anomalies”?Bertram Gawronski, Michael Brownstein & Alex Madva - 2022 - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-7.
    Based on a review of several “anomalies” in research using implicit measures, Machery (2021) dismisses the modal interpretation of participant responses on implicit measures and, by extension, the value of implicit measures. We argue that the reviewed findings are anomalies only for specific—influential but long-contested—accounts that treat responses on implicit measures as uncontaminated indicators of trait-like unconscious representations that coexist with functionally independent conscious representations. However, the reviewed findings are to-be-expected “normalities” when viewed from the perspective of long-standing alternative frameworks (...)
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  17.  42
    Self-Control and Overcontrol: Conceptual, Ethical, and Ideological Issues in Positive Psychology.Michael Brownstein - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):585-606.
    In what they call their “manual of the sanities”—a positive psychology handbook describing contemporary research on strengths of character—Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman argue that “there is no true disadvantage of having too much self-control.” This claim is widely endorsed in the research literature. I argue that it is false. My argument proceeds in three parts. First, I identify conceptual confusion in the definition of self-control, specifically as it pertains to the claim that you cannot be too self-controlled. Second, I (...)
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  18.  54
    Philosophy’s Other Climate Problem☆.Michael Brownstein & Neil Levy - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (4):536-553.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, Volume 52, Issue 4, Page 536-553, Winter 2021.
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  19. Philosophy’s Other Climate Problem☆.Michael Brownstein & Neil Levy - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (4):536-553.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  20. Taking Social Psychology Out of Context.Michael Brownstein, Daniel Kelly & Alex Madva - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45:26-27.
    We endorse Cesario's call for more research into the complexities of “real-world” decisions and the comparative power of different causes of group disparities. Unfortunately, these reasonable suggestions are overshadowed by a barrage of non sequiturs, misdirected criticisms of methodology, and unsubstantiated claims about the assumptions and inferences of social psychologists.
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  21. Implicit Attitudes, Social Learning, and Moral Credibility.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. London: Routledge. pp. 314-335.
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    The Background, the Body and the Internet: Locating Practical Understanding in Digital Culture.Michael Brownstein - 2011 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (1):36-48.
    In recent years, Hubert Dreyfus has put forward a critique of the social and cultural effects of the Internet on modern societies based on the value of what he calls “the background” of largely tacit and unarticulated social norms. While Dreyfus is right to turn to the “background” in order to understand the effects of the Internet on society and culture, his unequivocally negative conclusions are unwarranted. I argue that a modified account of the background – one more attuned to (...)
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  23. Conceptuality and Practical Action: A Critique of Charles Taylor’s Verstehen Social Theory.Michael Brownstein - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (1):59-83.
    In their recent debate, Hubert Dreyfus rejects John McDowell’s claim that perception is permeated with "mindedness" and argues instead that ordinary embodied coping is largely "nonconceptual." This argument has important, yet largely unacknowledged consequences for normative social theory, which this article demonstrates through a critique of Charles Taylor’s Verstehen thesis. If Dreyfus is right that "the enemy of expertise is thought," then Taylor is denied his defense against charges of relativism, which is that maximizing the interpretive clarity of social practices (...)
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  24. Merleau-Ponty Between Subjectivity and Power.Michael Brownstein - 2008 - Theory and Event 11 (3).
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  25.  54
    Rawls, Foucault, Michael Moore, and 50 Cent on the Terms of Democratic Discourse.Michael Brownstein - 2007 - International Studies in Philosophy 39 (2):1-16.
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  26. Book Review. [REVIEW]Michael Brownstein - 1988 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 108 (1):147-148.
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  27.  10
    Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volumes 1 and 2: Metaphysics and Epistemology.Michael S. Brownstein & Jennifer Mather Saul (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Implicit Bias and Philosophy brings the work of leading philosophers and psychologists together to explore core areas of psychological research on implicit bias, as well as the ramifications of implicit bias for core areas of philosophy. Volume I: Metaphysics and Epistemology addresses key metaphysical and epistemological questions on implicit bias, including the effect of implicit bias on scientific research, gender stereotypes in philosophy, and the role of heuristics in biased reasoning. Volume 2: Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics explores the (...)
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  28.  8
    Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volumes 1 and 2: Metaphysics and Epistemology; Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics. [REVIEW]Michael S. Brownstein & Jennifer Mather Saul (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Most people show unconscious bias in their evaluations of social groups, in ways that may run counter to their conscious beliefs. Volume 1 addresses key metaphysical and epistemological questions on this kind of implicit bias, while Volume 2 turns to the themes of moral responsibility and injustice.
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  29.  12
    The Marginal World of Ōe Kenzaburo: A Study in Themes and TechniquesThe Marginal World of Oe Kenzaburo: A Study in Themes and Techniques.Michael C. Brownstein & Michiko N. Wilson - 1988 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 108 (1):147.
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  30.  10
    Do Circulating Cells Transdifferentiate and Replenish Stem Cell Pools in the Brain and Periphery?Éva Mezey & Michael J. Brownstein - 2015 - Bioessays 37 (4):398-402.
  31.  5
    Changing and Unchanging Conceptions of Information.Michael Brownstein - 2007 - Glimpse 9:58-63.
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