Collective Implicit Attitudes: A Stakeholder Conception of Implicit Bias

AbstractPsychologists and philosophers have not yet resolved what they take implicit attitudes to be; and, some, concerned about limitations in the psychometric evidence, have even challenged the predictive and theoretical value of positing implicit attitudes in explanations for social behavior. In the midst of this debate, prominent stakeholders in science have called for scientific communities to recognize and countenance implicit bias in STEM fields. In this paper, I stake out a stakeholder conception of implicit bias that responds to these challenges in ways that are responsive to the psychometric evidence, while also being resilient to the sorts of disagreements and scientific progress that would not undermine the soundness of this call. Along the way, my account advocates for attributing collective (group-level) implicit attitudes rather than individual-level implicit attitudes. This position raises new puzzles for future research on the relationship (metaphysical, epistemic, and ethical) between collective implicit attitudes and individual-level attitudes.

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