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Monday, December 15, 2014

Implicit Bias and Moral Responsibility: Probing the Data.

By Neil Levy


Psychological research strongly suggests that many people harbor implicit attitudes that
diverge from their explicit attitudes, and that under some conditions these people can be
expected to perform actions that owe their moral character to the agent’s implicit attitudes. In
this paper, I pursue the question whether agents are morally responsible for these actions by
probing the available evidence concerning the kind of representation an implicit attitude is.
Building on previous work, I argue that the reduction in the degree and kind of reasons sensitivity
these attitudes display undermines agents’ responsibility-level control over the moral
character of actions. I also argue that these attitudes do not fully belong to agents’ real selves in
ways that would justify holding them responsible on accounts that centre on attributability.

The entire article is here.