Biased by our imaginings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes

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.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalMind & Language
Early online date28 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2018