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From Personality to VirtueEssays on the Philosophy of Character$
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Alberto Masala and Jonathan Webber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746812.001.0001

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Implicit Bias, Character, and Control

Implicit Bias, Character, and Control

Chapter:
(p.106) 5 Implicit Bias, Character, and Control
Source:
From Personality to Virtue
Author(s):

Jules Holroyd

Daniel Kelly

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746812.003.0006

Are implicit biases under an agent’s control, and attributable to her as part of her character? A number of theorists have argued that individuals do not have control, in the relevant sense, over the operation of implicit bias. This paper first argues that this is mistaken; these views do not delineate the relevant sense of control. Accordingly, lack of control in these senses does not exempt the agent’s implicit biases from being a target of character-based evaluation. The paper then articulates and develops a notion of control that individuals have with respect to implicit bias. It argues that this kind of control—ecological control—can ground character-based evaluation of such behavioural dispositions. This conception of control helps to fine-tune prescriptions for programmes of character development.

Keywords:   implicit bias, character, control conditions, ecological control, character development

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