•  87
    How, if at all, do the findings of social psychology impact upon philosophical analyses of discrimination? In this chapter, I outline key findings from three research programs from psychology – concerning in-group/out-group favoritism; implicit bias; and stereotype threat. I argue that each set of findings presents challenges to how philosophical analyses of group discrimination are formulated, and propose possible revisions to be explored in future work.
  • Implicit bias and the anatomy of institutional racism
    Criminal Justice Matters 101. 2015.
    The claim that policing practice in the UK is institutionally racist was widely accepted after the Macpherson Report at the end of last century. The report included the idea that there may be widespread ‘unwitting prejudice' that led to racially discriminatory practice. The recent findings of empirical psychology, about implicit racial biases, provide a framework for better understanding this part of institutional racism. Understanding the workings of implicit racial bias helps us to see the imp…Read more
  •  45
    Two Ways of Socialising Responsibility: Circumstantialist and Scaffolded-Responsiveness
    In Katrina Hutchinson, Catriona Mackenzie & Marina Oshana (eds.), Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility. pp. 137-162. 2018.
    This chapter evaluates two competing views of morally responsible agency. The first view at issue is Vargas’s circumstantialism—on which responsible agency is a function of the agent and her circumstances, and so is highly context sensitive. The second view is McGeer’s scaffolded-responsiveness view, on which responsible agency is constituted by the capacity for responsiveness to reasons directly, and indirectly via sensitivity to the expectations of one’s audience (whose sensitivity may be more…Read more
  •  787
    Implicit Bias, Character and Control
    with Dan Kelly
    In Jonathan Webber & Alberto Masala (eds.), From Personality to Virtue, . pp. 106-133. 2016.
    Our focus here is on whether, when influenced by implicit biases, those behavioural dispositions should be understood as being a part of that person’s character: whether they are part of the agent that can be morally evaluated.[4]  We frame this issue in terms of control. If a state, process, or behaviour is not something that the agent can, in the relevant sense, control, then it is not something that counts as part of her character. A number of theorists have argued that individuals do not hav…Read more
  •  974
    The Heterogeneity of Implicit Bias
    with Joseph Sweetman
    In Michael Brownstein & Jennifer Saul (eds.), Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    The term 'implicit bias' has very swiftly been incorporated into philosophical discourse. Our aim in this paper is to scrutinise the phenomena that fall under the rubric of implicit bias. The term is often used in a rather broad sense, to capture a range of implicit social cognitions, and this is useful for some purposes. However, we here articulate some of the important differences between phenomena identified as instances of implicit bias. We caution against ignoring these differences: it is l…Read more
  •  23
    Feminist Metaethics
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics, . 2013.
    Metaethical questions concern the nature of morality: are there moral properties, and, if so, what kind of thing are they? How do they motivate us? How should we understand moral discourse, and how can we gain moral knowledge?
  •  329
    Responsibility for implicit bias
    Philosophy Compass 12 (2). 2012.
    Research programs in empirical psychology from the past two decades have revealed implicit biases. Although implicit processes are pervasive, unavoidable, and often useful aspects of our cognitions, they may also lead us into error. The most problematic forms of implicit cognition are those which target social groups, encoding stereotypes or reflecting prejudicial evaluative hierarchies. Despite intentions to the contrary, implicit biases can influence our behaviours and judgements, contributing…Read more
  •  309
    Clarifying Capacity: Reasons and Value
    In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Health, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    It is usually appropriate for adults to make significant decisions, such as about what kinds of medical treatment to undergo, for themselves. But sometimes impairments are suffered - either temporary or permanent - which render an individual unable to make such decisions. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out the conditions under which it is appropriate to regard an individual as lacking the capacity to make a particular decision (and when provisions should be made for a decision on their behalf…Read more
  •  10
    On Regretting Things I Didn't Do and Couldn't Have Done
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (3): 403-413. 2017.
    One of the lines of investigation opened up by Wallace in The View from Here concerns the notion of regret: what it is, what it is rationally constrained by, and what are the proper objects of regret. A distinctive feature of Wallace's view is that regret is an intention-like state, which, whilst backward-looking, is bound up with our future directed practices of value. In this commentary, I set out Wallace's claims on regret, its rational constraints, and its objects, and raise some worries abo…Read more
  •  3013
    Responsibility for Implicit Bias
    Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (3): 274-306. 2012.
    Philosophers who have written about implicit bias have claimed or implied that individuals are not responsible, and therefore not blameworthy, for their implicit biases, and that this is a function of the nature of implicit bias as implicit: below the radar of conscious reflection, out of the control of the deliberating agent, and not rationally revisable in the way many of our reflective beliefs are. I argue that close attention to the findings of empirical psychology, and to the conditions for…Read more
  •  47
    A Communicative Conception of Moral Appraisal
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3): 267-278. 2007.
    I argue that our acts of moral appraisal should be communicative. Praise and blame should communicate, to the appraised, information about their status and competences as moral agents; that they are recognised by the appraiser as a competent moral agent, and thus a legitimate candidate for appraisal. I argue for this thesis by drawing on empirical data about factors that can affect motivation. On the basis of such data, I formulate a constraint, and argue that two prominent models of moral appra…Read more
  •  36
    Mark D. White : Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy (review)
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (1): 177-188. 2015.
    It is customary to remark, in writings on retributivism, that the meaning of the term is so diffuse and variably applied that there is no one concept or justificatory principle picked out by the term. Cottingham identified 9 different ideas captured by the term retributivism, and a similar paper could today no doubt identify as many again. This edited volume of essays on retributivism does justice to that customary remark, by bringing together a range of writings on retributivism many of which p…Read more