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Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2Moral Responsibility,  Structural Injustice, and Ethics$
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Michael Brownstein and Jennifer Saul

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766179.001.0001

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Stereotypes and Prejudices: Whose Responsibility?

Stereotypes and Prejudices: Whose Responsibility?

Indirect Personal Responsibility for Implicit Biases

(p.90) 1.4 Stereotypes and Prejudices: Whose Responsibility?
Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2

Maureen Sie

Nicole van Voorst Vader-Bours

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the interrelations between stereotypes, prejudices, and implicit biases, investigates why particular stereotypes and prejudices are harmful, and discusses what this implies for personal responsibility. It argues that the discontinuation of harmful stereotypes and prejudices requires a collective effort. When implicit biases are the probable cause of a collective’s failure to discontinue them, members of that collective have a personal responsibility to compensate for the impact of implicit biases. This is called an account of indirect personal responsibility, because responsibility to compensate for the impact of implicit bias is established regardless of whether we are able to prevent or control such an impact. The chapter concludes with an example inviting people to consider the hypothesis that their behavior might be triggered by disavowed stereotypes and prejudices, and the benefits that allowing for that possibility brings us.

Keywords:   stereotype, prejudice, implicit biases, harm, responsibility

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