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The rational impermissibility of accepting (some) racial generalizations

Bolinger, Renee Jorgensen

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I argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations (e.g. believing that Jones is a janitor, on the grounds that most Salvadoreans at the school are janitors) are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBolinger, Renee Jorgensen
dc.date.accessioned2019-10-17T01:56:56Z
dc.identifier.issn0039-7857
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/177011
dc.description.abstractI argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations (e.g. believing that Jones is a janitor, on the grounds that most Salvadoreans at the school are janitors) are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of the nature of adequate justification—practical adequacy with respect to eliminating the ~p possibilities from one’s epistemic statespace. Second, I argue that inferences based on demographic generalizations tend to disproportionately expose group members to the risks associated with mistakenly assuming stereotypical propositions, and so magnify the wrong involved in relying on such inferences without adequate justification.
dc.description.sponsorshipWork on this paper was supported by ARC Grant D170101394.
dc.format.extent17 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherSpringer International Publishing AG
dc.rights© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Synthese. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1809-5
dc.sourceSynthese
dc.subjectEpistemology
dc.subjectAcceptance
dc.subjectGeneralizations
dc.subjectStatistical evidence
dc.subjectMoral encroachment
dc.subjectEpistemic risk
dc.titleThe rational impermissibility of accepting (some) racial generalizations
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-05-08
dc.date.issued2018-05-23
local.identifier.absfor220319 - Social Philosophy
local.identifier.ariespublicationu1050297xPUB1
local.publisher.urlhttps://link.springer.com/
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationBolinger, Renee, College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/D170101394
local.identifier.essn1573-0964
local.identifier.doi10.1007/s11229-018-1809-5
local.identifier.absseo970122 - Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
dc.date.updated2019-05-05T09:07:20Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85047243114
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancehttp://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0039-7857/ Author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication (Sherpa/Romeo as of 17/2/2020)
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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