Philosophy Seminar: Ema Sullivan-Bissett

Imagining our Biases

I propose a new model of the nature of implicit bias, according to which implicit biases are identical to, or partly constituted by, unconscious imaginings. I begin by introducing implicit bias in terms congenial to what most philosophers and psychologists have said about their nature in the literature so far, before addressing scepticism about the coherence of unconscious imagination. I then move to a discussion of the structural nature of implicit biases, in particular whether we should understand them as associations or as states with propositional contents. I argue that my model can accommodate the heterogeneity in the category of implicit bias understood in these terms. Finally I show how the characteristic features of implicit bias can be accommodated by the imagination model. I conclude that implicit biases should be understood as unconscious imaginings.

Location details 

Baines Wing (G. 36)