The Spring 2018 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Martina Fürst (University of Graz).
Title: "Implicit Bias and Qualiefs."
Location: Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.
In analyzing implicit bias, one key issue is to clarify its metaphysical nature. We can roughly discern two competing views on the issue: on the associative view, which is shared mostly by psychologists, implicit bias is best characterized in terms of associations or in terms of what Gendler calls “aliefs”. On the alternative propositional view implicit bias is best analyzed as beliefs or belief-like attitudes. In my talk, I develop a novel account of implicit bias as belief-like states that are partly constituted by phenomenal concepts. I call these mental states “qualiefs” for three reasons: qualiefs draw upon (qualitative) experiences of what an object seems like to attribute a property to this very object, they share some of the distinctive features of proper beliefs, and they also share some characteristics of “aliefs”.
First, I argue that implicit bias involves a particular kind of qualief. Second, I demonstrate that the qualief-model best explains the key-features of implicit bias. It accounts for the biases´ implicitness, automaticity and insensitivity to evidence. Furthermore, it elucidates why in conflict-cases subjects are unaware that their implicit bias is in tension with their explicit anti-discriminatory beliefs.