Skip to content

Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Project

Unconscious biases against members of stigmatised groups have been studied by psychologists

for decades, but only recently have philosophers explored this phenomenon. This project brings

researchers from both fields together with policy professionals to work through the implications

Over the last decade, a large psychological literature has developed on implicit biases. There is

by now substantial empirical support for the claim that most people— even those who explicitly and

sincerely avow egalitarian views—hold what have been described as implicit biases against such

groups as blacks, women, gay people, and so on. (This is true even of members of the “target” group.)

These biases are manifested in, for example, association tasks asking subjects to pair positive and

negative adjectives with black or white faces: most are much speedier to match black faces with negative

adjectives than with positive ones. They are also, it has been argued, manifested in behaviour: studies

have shown that those with anti-black implicit biases are less friendly to black experimenters and more

likely to classify an ambiguous object as a gun when it’s associated with a black person and as harmless

when it’s associated with a white person.

In 2011-2013 the Leverhulme foundation enabled this project to host a series of workshops and a conference,

bringing together philosophers, psychologists and others to work through these issues together for the first time.

Two volumes of edited papers from these conferences are now forthcoming with Oxford University Press:

  • Michael Brownstein and Jennifer Saul, eds. Implicit Bias and Philosophy Volume I: Metaphysics and Epistemology, Oxford University Press.
  • Michael Brownstein and Jennifer Saul, eds. Implicit Bias and Philosophy Volume II: Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics, Oxford University Press

The Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Network has been made possible by a generous grant

from the Leverhulme Trust, the University of Sheffield and persp.

Taking Care of Our Health

Every year, I go to the doctor and get a checkup. It’s simple; we discuss what I’ve been up to the past year,

whether there had been any changes in my life style or normal routine. And I get my blood tested.  It’s a good

way to evaluate the health of my physical body. If I’m in good health, then I know my daily regimen is adequate

; if not, then I know that I need to make some changes.

Similarly, we need to check our spiritual health. We can do this by evaluating how we’re doing with our japa

meditation and/or Gauranga breathing. Are we regularly finding time to do these activities daily? Is the quality

of our meditation increasing, decreasing, or staying the same? It’s understandable that sometimes work, family

life or other personal stresses may take up more of our time now and then. However, japa meditation and

Gauranga breathing are important, because they are transcendental activities which bring true happiness

to you, the spirit soul, which can make dealing with unforeseen stresses or problems much easier. If you’re l

ike me and find yourself struggling now and then, I have a couple of suggestions that may help get you back on

track.

Continue reading

Deborah Sampson Act

Women have served in various roles in the U.S. military throughout the nation’s history. The first time men

and women were shipped out together during wartime conditions was when the U.S.S. Acadia departed from

San Diego for the Persian Gulf on September 5, 1990. Since that time, there have been advancements and

setbacks in the involvement of women together with men in training and combat settings. In January 2013,

the ban on women serving in combat roles was lifted. That was a huge milestone, but the respect and acceptance

of women in the military has not made sufficient progress.

Continue reading