Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Implicit biases: a challenge for accessibilism?

Date: 31 January 2018

Time: 15:00

Place: Seminari de Filosofia UB


It has recently been argued that 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. In this talk, I discuss the notion of accessibility required for this argument to work vis-à-vis recent empirical results suggesting that, while we may typically lack conscious access to the source of implicit attitudes and their impact on our beliefs and behaviour, we do have access to their content. Accessibilism, I argue, 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 justificatorily relevant first- and second-order facts, and argue that while the former may be inaccessible, the latter need not.