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Implicit Bias and Prejudice

Holroyd, Jules and Puddifoot, Katherine (2019) 'Implicit Bias and Prejudice.', in The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York: Routledge. Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy.


Empirical research has substantiated the finding that very many of us harbour implicit biases: fast, automatic, and difficult to control processes that encode stereotypes and evaluative content, and influence how we think and behave. The influence of implicit bias on perception may operate under the radar of consciousness: therefore it is irrelevant to the justification of epistemologists‘ beliefs according to accessibility. The person whose beliefs and judgements are influenced by implicit bias displays epistemic vices like negligence and lack of thoroughness. And since implicit biases often encode stereotypes, they are a hindrance to the achievement of virtues such as open-mindedness, leading to prejudice and closed-minded responses. It is worth noting that in various endeavours to address under-representation it has been argued that implicit biases are part of the explanations for continued marginalisation and exclusion of individuals – in particular women and Black and minority ethnicity individuals – from communities of enquirers.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology on 07 August 2019, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:30 August 2022
Date of first online publication:07 August 2019
Date first made open access:30 August 2022

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