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  • 1.
    Jönsson, Martin L.
    et al.
    Lunds universitet.
    Sjödahl, Julia
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier.
    Increasing the veracity of implicitly biased rankings2017Ingår i: Episteme: A journal of individual and social epistemology, ISSN 1742-3600, E-ISSN 1750-0117, Vol. 14, nr 4, s. 499-517Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In spite of our good intentions and explicit egalitarian convictions, we habitually disfavor the underprivileged. The rapidly growing literature on implicit bias – unconscious, automatic tendencies to associate negative traits with members of particular social groups – points towards explanations of this dissonance, although rarely towards generalizable solutions. In a recent paper, Jennifer Saul (2013) draws attention to the alarming epistemological problems that implicit bias carries with it; since our judgments about each other are likely influenced by implicit bias, we have good reason to doubt their veracity. In this paper we explore a novel way to come to terms with the epistemological problem as it manifests itself in ranking situations, i.e. how we can know that the way in which we have ranked a group of people for a certain position, reflects their actual competence (or the best estimate of their competence given the evidence). On our approach, rather than attempting to make people less biased, we suggest that biased behavior can sometimes be corrected after the fact. In particular, the veracity of rankings can sometimes be improved by modifying the rankings directly. We investigate three methods that modify biased rankings, and argue that the last of these solves the epistemological problem that we are concerned with.

  • 2.
    Vaassen, Bram
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier.
    Basic Beliefs and the Perceptual Learning Problem: A Substantial Challenge for Moderate Foundationalism2016Ingår i: Episteme: A journal of individual and social epistemology, ISSN 1742-3600, E-ISSN 1750-0117, Vol. 13, nr 1, s. 133-149Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent epistemology many philosophers have adhered to a moderate foundationalism according to which some beliefs do not depend on other beliefs for their justification. Reliance on such ‘basic beliefs’ pervades both internalist and externalist theories of justification. In this article I argue that the phenomenon of perceptual learning – the fact that certain ‘expert’ observers are able to form more justified basic beliefs than novice observers – constitutes a challenge for moderate foundationalists. In order to accommodate perceptual learning cases, the moderate foundationalist will have to characterize the ‘expertise’ of the expert observer in such a way that it cannot be had by novice observers and that it bestows justification on expert basic beliefs independently of any other justification had by the expert. I will argue that the accounts of expert basic beliefs currently present in the literature fail to meet this challenge, as they either result in a too liberal ascription of justification or fail to draw a clear distinction between expert basic beliefs and other spontaneously formed beliefs. Nevertheless, some guidelines for a future solution will be provided.

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