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The Epistemic Life of GroupsEssays in the Epistemology of Collectives$
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Michael S. Brady and Miranda Fricker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759645.001.0001

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Four Types of Moral Wriggle Room

Four Types of Moral Wriggle Room

Uncovering Mechanisms of Racial Discrimination

Chapter:
(p.173) 9 Four Types of Moral Wriggle Room
Source:
The Epistemic Life of Groups
Author(s):

Kai Spiekermann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759645.003.0010

Recent experiments in behavioural economics reveal that individuals frequently use so-called ‘moral wriggle room’ to avoid complying with costly normative demands. Different opportunities for strategic information manipulation are classified by developing a typology of ‘moral wriggle rooms’. On one dimension, individuals can target either beliefs about the applicable norms or beliefs about the applicable normative properties of the actions available. On the other dimension, individuals can attempt to manipulate either their own beliefs, or the beliefs others hold. ‘Moral wriggling’ can often operate in an unconscious yet systematic way. The example of racial discrimination shows how such self-serving biases promote subtle, indirect forms of discrimination.

Keywords:   bias, wriggle-room, behaviour, economics, discrimination, unconscious, manipulation

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