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 (...) themes of moral responsibility in implicit bias, structural injustice in society, and strategies for implicit attitude change. (shrink)
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.
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 (...) how to \ and fail to believe that w, the way that she \s, is a way for her to \. We discuss a variety of ways in which Intellectualists might respond to this challenge and argue that, ultimately, this debate converges with another, seemingly distinct debate in contemporary epistemology: how to attribute belief in cases of conflict between an agent’s avowals and her behavior. No-belief cases, we argue, reveal how Intellectualism depends on the plausibility of positing something like “implicit beliefs”—which conflict with an agent’s avowed beliefs—in many cases of apparent knowledge-how. While there may be good reason to posit implicit beliefs elsewhere, we suggest that there are at least some grounds for thinking that these reasons fail to carry over to no-belief cases, thus applying new pressure to Intellectualism. (shrink)
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 (...) the person who is taking the test or characteristics of the situation in which the person is taking the test. Finally, we survey the debate about the relationship between implicit measures and (other kinds of) behavior. (shrink)
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 (...) overstating the degree to which aliefs are norm-insensitive. (shrink)
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 (...) automaticity" are what automatic dispositions are (and are not) good for and when they can (and cannot) be trusted. (shrink)
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 (...) unequivocally makes for better practices. Verstehen social theory, I argue, must consider both the gains and losses of the attempt to make the meaning of our practices explicit. (shrink)
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 (...) overstating the degree to which aliefs are norm‐insensitive. (shrink)
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.
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 (...) that place significant limits on various forms of moral progress, especially on the spread and sustainability of inclusive values. The alternative picture they present acknowledges that evolutionary history has shaped how our minds produce behaviour, but emphasizes that the contexts in which they currently operate are just as pivotal. While safe and stable ecological and social circumstances are hospitable to cosmopolitanism and encouraging of inclusive values, dangerous and threatening circumstances are more favourable to parochialism, exclusivist values, and morally regressive outgroup hostility (also see Buchanan and Powell , , ). Overall, EMP is a compelling, well-researched, and timely book. It articulates arguably the most persuasive naturalistic theory of moral progress to date, and lays the groundwork for important and impactful research. (shrink)
This article explores the relationships between legal proof and fundamental epistemic concepts such as knowledge and justification. A survey of the legal literature reveals a confusing array of seemingly inconsistent proposals and presuppositions regarding these relationships. This article makes two contributions. First, it reconciles a number of apparent inconsistencies and tensions in accounts of the epistemology of legal proof. Second, it argues that there is a deeper connection between knowledge and legal proof than is typically argued for or presupposed in (...) the legal literature. This connection is illustrated through a discussion of the Gettier problem in epistemology. It is argued that the gap or disconnect between truth and justification that undermines knowledge in Gettier cases also potentially undermines the success of legal verdicts. (shrink)
In various areas of Anglo-American law, legal liability turns on causation. In torts and contracts, we are each liable only for those harms we have caused by the actions that breach our legal duties. Such doctrines explicitly make causation an element of liability. In criminal law, sometimes the causal element for liability is equally explicit, as when a statute makes punishable any act that has “ caused … abuse to the child….” More often, the causal element in criminal liability is (...) more implicit, as when criminal statutes prohibit killings, maimings, rapings, burnings, etc. Such causally complex action verbs are correctly applied only to defendants who have caused death, caused disfigurement, caused penetration, caused fire damage, etc. (shrink)
Freud justified his extensive theorizing about dreams by the observation that they were “the royal road” to something much more general: namely, our unconscious mental life. The current preoccupation with the theory of excuse in criminal law scholarship can be given a similar justification, for the excuses are the royal road to theories of responsibility generally. The thought is that if we understand why we excuse in certain situations but not others, we will have also gained a much more general (...) insight into the nature of responsibility itself. Nowhere has this thought been more evident than in the century-old focus of criminal law theoreticians on the excuse of insanity, a focus that could not be justified by the importance of the excuse itself. In this paper I wish to isolate two theories of excuse, each of which instantiates its own distinctive theory of responsibility. One is what I shall call the choice theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because at the moment of such action's performance, one did not have sufficient capacity or opportunity to make the choice to do otherwise. Such a choice theory of excuse instantiates a more general theory of responsibility, according to which we are responsible for wrongs we freely choose to do, and not responsible for wrongs we lacked the freedom to avoid doing. The second I shall call the character theory of excuse, according to which one is excused for the doing of a wrongful action because and only because such action is not determined by those enduring attributes of ourselves we call our characters. (shrink)
Michael S. Brady offers a new account of the role of emotions in our lives. He argues that emotional experiences do not give us information in the same way that perceptual experiences do. Instead, they serve our epistemic needs by capturing our attention and facilitating a reappraisal of the evaluative information that emotions themselves provide.
Suffering, in one form or another, is present in all of our lives. But why do we suffer? On one reading, this is a question about the causes of physical and emotional suffering. But on another, it is a question about whether suffering has a point or purpose or value. In this ground-breaking book, Michael Brady argues that suffering is vital for the development of virtue, and hence for us to live happy or flourishing lives. After presenting a distinctive (...) account of suffering, and a novel account of its core element, unpleasantness, Brady proceeds to focus on three claims that are central to his picture. The first is that forms of suffering, like pain and remorse, can themselves constitute virtuous responses. The second is that suffering is essential for four important classes of virtue - virtues of strength, such as fortitude and courage; virtues of vulnerability, such as adaptability and humility; moral virtues, such as compassion; and the practical and epistemic excellences that make up wisdom. His final claim third is that suffering is vital for the social virtues of justice, love, and trust, and hence for the flourishing of social groups. (shrink)
This article aims to highlight why R. S. Peters' conceptual analysis of ‘education’ was such an important contribution to the normative field of philosophy of education. In the article, I do the following: 1) explicate Peters' conception of philosophy of education as a field of philosophy and explain his approach to the philosophical analysis of concepts; 2) emphasize several (normative) features of Peters' conception of education, while pointing to a couple of oversights; and 3) suggest how Peters' analysis might be (...) used to reinvigorate a conversation on one central educational aim—that of how we might educate citizens for the 21st century. (shrink)
Many psychological studies of categorization and reasoning use undergraduates to make claims about human conceptualization. Generalizability of findings to other populations is often assumed but rarely tested. Even when comparative studies are conducted, it may be challenging to interpret differences. As a partial remedy, in the present studies we adopt a 'triangulation strategy' to evaluate the ways expertise and culturally different belief systems can lead to different ways of conceptualizing the biological world. We use three groups (US bird experts, US (...) undergraduates, and ordinary Itza' Maya) and two sets of birds (North American and Central American). Categorization tasks show considerable similarity among the three groups' taxonomic sorts, but also systematic differences. Notably, US expert categorization is more similar to Itza' than to US novice categorization. The differences are magnified on inductive reasoning tasks where only undergraduates show patterns of judgment that are largely consistent with current models of category-based taxonomic inference. The Maya commonly employ causal and ecological reasoning rather than taxonomic reasoning. Experts use a mixture of strategies (including causal and ecological reasoning), only some of which current models explain. US and Itza' informants differed markedly when reasoning about passerines (songbirds), reflecting the somewhat different role that songbirds play in the two cultures. The results call into question the importance of similarity-based notions of typicality and central tendency in natural categorization and reasoning. These findings also show that relative expertise leads to a convergence of thought that transcends cultural boundaries and shared experiences. (shrink)
The concept of causation is fundamental to ascribing moral and legal responsibility for events. Yet the precise relationship between causation and responsibility remains unclear. This book clarifies that relationship through an analysis of the best accounts of causation in metaphysics, and a critique of the confusion in legal doctrine.
The concept of causation is fundamental to ascribing moral and legal responsibility for events. Yet the precise relationship between causation and responsibility remains unclear. This book clarifies that relationship through an analysis of the best accounts of causation in metaphysics, and a critique of the confusion in legal doctrine. The result is a powerful argument in favour of reforming the moral and legal understanding of how and why we attribute responsibility to agents.
The article explores the agreements and disagreements between the author and the authors of Responsible Brains on how neuroscience relates to moral responsibility. The agreements are fundamental: neuroscience is not the harbinger of revolutionary revision of our views of when persons are morally responsible for the harms that they cause. The disagreements are in the details of what is needed for neuroscience to be the helper of the moral sciences.
September 11, 2001 brought to legal awareness an issue that has long puzzled metaphysicians. The general issue is that of event-identity, drawing the boundaries of events so that we can tell when there is one event and when there are two. The September 11th version of that issue is: how many occurrences of insured events were there on September 11, 2001 in New York? Was the collapse of the two World Trade Center Towers one event, despite the two separate airliners (...) crashing into each tower? Or were these two separate insured events? (shrink)
To understand the history of Advaita Vedānta and its rise to prominence, we need to devote more attention to what might be termed “Greater Advaita Vedānta,” or Advaita Vedānta as expressed outside the standard canon of Sanskrit philosophical works. Elsewhere I have examined the works of Niścaldās, whose Hindi-language Vicār-sāgar was once referred to by Swami Vivekananda as the most influential book of its day. In this paper, I look back to one of Niścaldās’s major influences: Sundardās, a well-known Hindi (...) poet and a direct disciple of Dādū Dayāl. Sundardās is typically classified as a bhakti poet rather than an Advaita Vedāntin; certainly he is not included in existing surveys or histories of Vedānta. In his youth, however, he studied Sanskrit and Vedānta in Banaras, and his poems present us with a mind that found no contradiction in claiming Dādū as his master and at the same time embracing the teachings of Advaita Vedānta. I argue that not only should Sundardās be included in histories of Advaita Vedānta, he should be credited for his originality: not only did he “Vedānticize” the Dādū Panth, he “Dādūized” Vedānta. I conclude by comparing Sundardās to two Sanskrit intellectuals from roughly the same period: Mahādeva Sarasvatī Vedāntin and Annambhaṭṭa, both of whom, like Sundardās, had commitments to Advaita Vedānta as well as to other intellectual traditions. (shrink)
The traditional desire view of painfulness maintains that pain sensations are painful because the subject desires that they not be occurring. A significant criticism of this view is that it apparently succumbs to a version of the Euthyphro Dilemma: the desire view, it is argued, is committed to an implausible answer to the question of why pain sensations are painful. In this paper, I explain and defend a new desire view, and one which can avoid the Euthyphro Dilemma. This new (...) view maintains that painfulness is a property, not of pain sensations, but of a pain experience, understood as a relational state constituted by a pain sensation and a desire that the sensation not be occurring. (shrink)
A recalcitrant emotion is one which conflicts with evaluative judgement. (A standard example is where someone is afraid of flying despite believing that it poses little or no danger.) The phenomenon of emotional recalcitrance raises an important problem for theories of emotion, namely to explain the sense in which recalcitrant emotions involve rational conflict. In this paper I argue that existing ‘neojudgementalist’ accounts of emotions fail to provide plausible explanations of the irrationality of recalcitrant emotions, and develop and defend my (...) own neojudgementalist account. On my view, recalcitrant emotions are irrational insofar as they incline the subject to accept an evaluative construal that the subject has already rejected. (shrink)
In this response to the review of Moore, Causation and Responsibility, by Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan, previously published in this journal, two issues are discussed. The first is whether causation, counterfactual dependence, moral blame, and culpability, are all scalar properties or relations, that is, matters of more-or-less rather than either-or. The second issue discussed is whether deontological moral obligation is best described as a prohibition against using another as a means, or rather, as a prohibition on an agent strongly (...) causing a prohibited result that was not about to happen anyway while intending to do so. (shrink)
A reconsideration of mill's theory of "higher pleasures," construed as a way of evaluating changes in preferences or character that result from changes in social environment. mill's account is criticized and partly reconstructed in light of modern preference theory, but viewed favorably as an illuminating attempt to address a fundamental problem in moral evaluation of social institutions. mill's advocacy of the higher pleasures is defended in particular against the charge that it is incompatible with his commitment to liberty.
This chapter focuses on the question of whether true belief can have final value because it answers our ‘intellectual interest’ or ‘natural curiosity’. The idea is that sometimes we are interested in the truth on some issue not for any ulterior purpose, but simply because we are curious about that issue. It is argued that this approach fails to provide an adequate explanation of the final value of true belief, since there is an unbridgeable gap between our valuing the truth (...) on some issue for its own sake, and that truth's being valuable for its own sake. (shrink)
The perceptual model of emotions maintains that emotions involve, or are at least analogous to, perceptions of value. On this account, emotions purport to tell us about the evaluative realm, in much the same way that sensory perceptions inform us about the sensible world. An important development of this position, prominent in recent work by Peter Goldie amongst others, concerns the essential role that virtuous habits of attention play in enabling us to gain perceptual and evaluative knowledge. I think that (...) there are good reasons to be sceptical about this picture of virtue. In this essay I set out these reasons, and explain the consequences this scepticism has for our understanding of the relation between virtue, emotion, and attention. In particular, I argue that our primary capacity for recognizing value is in fact a non-emotional capacity. (shrink)
Groups engage in epistemic activity all the time--whether it be the active collective inquiry of scientific research groups or crime detection units, or the evidential deliberations of tribunals and juries, or the informational efforts of the voting population in general--and yet in philosophy there is still relatively little epistemology of groups to help explore these epistemic practices and their various dimensions of social and philosophical significance. The aim of this book is to address this lack, by presenting original essays in (...) the field of collective epistemology, exploring these regions of epistemic practice and their significance for Epistemology, Political Philosophy, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Science. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article defends the importance of epistemic safety for legal evidence. Drawing on discussions of sensitivity and safety in epistemology, the article explores how similar considerations apply to legal proof. In the legal context, sensitivity concerns whether a factual finding would be made if it were false, and safety concerns how easily a factual finding could be false. The article critiques recent claims about the importance of sensitivity for the law of evidence. In particular, this critique argues that sensitivity does (...) not have much of an effect on the value of legal evidence and that it fails to explain legal doctrine. By contrast, safety affects the quality of legal evidence, and safety better explains central features of the law of evidence, including probative value, admissibility rules, and standards of proof. (shrink)
An education for cultural coherence tends to the child’s well-being through identity construction and maintenance. Critics charge that this sort of education will not bode well for the future autonomy of children. I will argue that culturally coherent education, provided there is no coercion, can lend itself to eventual autonomy and may assist minority children in countering the negative stereotypes and discrimination they face in the larger society. Further, I will argue that few individuals actually possess an entirely coherent identity; (...) rather, most of us possess hybrid identities that lend themselves to multiple, not necessarily conflicting allegiances. (shrink)
John Martin Fischer's The Metaphysics of Free Will is devoted to two major projects. First, Fischer defends the thesis that determinism is incompatible with a person's control over alternatives to the actual future. Second, Fischer defends the striking thesis that such control is not necessary for moral responsibility. This review essay examines Fischer's arguments for each thesis. Fischer's defense of the incompatibilist thesis is the most innovative to date, and I argue that his formulation restructures the free will debate. To (...) defend his second thesis Fischer relies upon examples designed to show that an agent is responsible for an unavoidable action. I criticize Fischer's account of these examples, but I also maintain that my criticisms do not compromise his theory of responsibility. I raise several other difficulties for Fischer's theory of responsibility, and I close by offering some suggestions about how he might further defend it. (shrink)
Starting from Marr's ideas about levels of explanation, a theory of the data structures and access processes in human memory is demonstrated on 10 tasks. Functional characteristics of human memory are captured implementation-independently. Our theory generates a multidimensional task classification subsuming existing classifications such as the distinction between tasks that are implicit versus explicit, data driven versus conceptually driven, and simple associative versus higher order, providing a broad basis for new experiments. The formal language clarifies the binding problem in episodic (...) memory, the role of input pathways in both episodic and semantic memory, the importance of the input set in episodic memory, and the ubiquitous calculation of an intersection in theories of episodic and lexical access. (shrink)
Although Hume’s theory of the passions has been vigorously criticized by contemporary philosophers, Hume’s immediate successors are seldom credited with serious criticisms of that theory. In fact, insofar as their views are considered at all, they typically are summarily dismissed. Alasdair MacIntyre’s treatment is a good illustration.
There is a loud and persistent drum beat of support for schools, for citizenship, for diversity and inclusion, and increasingly for labor market readiness with very little critical attention to the assumptions underlying these agendas, let alone to their many internal contradictions. Accordingly, in this book I examine the philosophical, motivational, and practical challenges of education theory, policy, and practice in the twenty-first century. As I proceed, I do not neglect the historical, comparative international context so essential to better understanding (...) where we are, as well as what is attainable in terms of educational justice. I argue that we must constructively critique some of our most cherished beliefs about education if we are to save the hope of real justice from the rhetoric of imagined justice. (shrink)
This essay concerns Scott Shapiro's criticism that H.L.A. Hart's theory of law suffers from a Although other philosophers of law have summarily dismissed Shapiro's criticism, I argue that it identifies an important requirement for an adequate theory of law. Such a theory must explain why legal officials justify their actions by reference to abstract propositional entities, instead of pointing to the existence of social practices. A virtue of Shapiro's planning theory of law is that it can explain this phenomenon. Despite (...) these sympathies, however, I end with the suggestion that Shapiro's criticism of Hart, as it stands, is incomplete. Careful attention to Hart's notion of the internal point of view indicates that he was aware that legal justification ends with abstract objects, not practices, and that he offered his own explanation of this phenomenon. (shrink)
This work provides, for the first time, a unified account of the theory of action presupposed by both British and American criminal law and its underlying morality. It defends the view that human actions are volitionally caused body movements. This theory illuminates three major problems in drafting and implementing criminal law--what the voluntary act requirement does and should require, what complex descriptions of actions prohibited by criminal codes both do and should require, and when the two actions are the "same" (...) for purposes of assessing whether multiple prosecutions and multiple punishments are warranted. The book contributes to the development of a coherent theory of action in philosophy. It provides a grounding in three of the most basic elements of criminal liability for legislators, judges, and the lawyers who argue to them. (shrink)