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École normale supérieure


Colloquium (NPC), Prof Josefa Toribia (Barcelona), "Biases and Vices", December 11th, 11-13h

Speaker : Pepa Toribio (ICREA-UB)

Title : Biases and Vices
Abstract : Beliefs formed on the basis of implicit biases pose a problem for accessibilism, since implicit biases are consciously inaccessible, yet they are relevant to epistemic justification. Recent empirical results suggest, however, that we are more aware of the content of our implicit biases than we had previously assumed. I here discuss the notion of accessibility vis-à-vis these empirical results and argue that accessibilism can meet the challenge posed by implicit biases in two different ways. The accessibilist can enrich the supervenience base for justification by including in such base facts that the subject is in a position to know. Alternatively, the accessibilist can appeal to a distinction between first- and second-order facts and argue that, while the former may be inaccessible, the latter need not. Ultimately both strategies fail, but the way in which they do, I conclude, reveals something general and important about our epistemic obligations and our epistemic vices.

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