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March 6th, 2015

  • Image preview 3:30pm - 5:00pm: Implicit Bias and the Circumstances of Moral Responsibility by Manuel R. Vargas (University of San Francisco)
    Implicit bias is a partially unconscious, partially automatic, and often negative evaluative tendency directed at individuals, based on their apparent membership in a socially salient category or group. The phenomenon of implicit bias raises interesting questions for a theory of moral responsibility, in part because implicit bias and our reaction to it provide reasons for both blaming and not blaming agents who act on the bases of those biases. For example, on the one hand, implicit biases can appear to be largely outside the direct control of agents, and not expressive of their values or true selves. On the other hand, it is difficult to shake the sense that one’s discovery of, say, racist bias should give rise to a sense of guilt. How we should navigate these issues, and what they suggest about responsible agency more generally, is the subject of this talk.

March 18th, 2015


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