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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

(p.106) 5 Implicit Bias, Character, and Control
From Personality to Virtue

Jules Holroyd

Daniel Kelly

Oxford University Press

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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