Philosophical Studies

, 156:65 | Cite as

Comments on Gendler’s, “the epistemic costs of implicit bias”

  • Andy Egan

I’m grateful for the opportunity to comment on Tamar Gendler’s extremely interesting and thought-provoking paper. I’ve profited a great deal from reading and thinking about it, and I haven’t found much to disagree with. I’ll quibble at a few points, but mostly what I’ll do here is say why some initially attractive ways of defusing some of Gendler’s pessimistic conclusions don’t actually look very promising, and draw some connections with discussions of conflict between epistemic and non-epistemic norms in other domains.


Gendler frames much of her discussion of the negative consequences of living in a society structured by objectionable racial categories in terms of her notion of alief, and chalks up much of the epistemic costliness of living in such a society to the fact that we are the sorts of agents that have alief-based (or anyway, alief-including) psychologies. This makes it tempting to object to her diagnosis of our compromised epistemic position by objecting to her...


Motivational State Stereotype Threat Racial Category Positive Illusion Base Rate Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks to Brendan Dill, Tyler Doggett, Jason Stanley, and especially Tamar Gendler, for comments on drafts of these comments, and to Anne Barnhill, Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, Dilip Ninan, and the participants in 2010 Oberlin Colloquium for extremely helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Arché Philosophical Research CentreUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland

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