Apr 14, 2017

Our Next Visiting Speaker April 21 - Dr. Deborah Mower

Dr. Deborah Mower, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Mississippi, will be giving a talk in our department on April 21. Her talk, titled “Implicit Bias and the Relational Self of Care Ethics,” will be held from 2-4pm in 175 McCain Hall. Her abstract is as follows:

Although social psychologists have studied implicit bias for the past fifty years, recently philosophers are examining implicit bias as both an epistemological and moral problem. Some focus on the moral problem, examining whether we should seek to reduce implicit bias within individuals as a matter of individual mental processing, or focus on changing social structures that affect nonconscious processing via group interactions and social institutions. Others address a “moral-epistemic dilemma” in that working toward an ethical ideal of being unprejudiced may incur some epistemic costs. A common objection to Care Ethics is that the focus on individuals in relations of care cannot account for conceptions of justice or provide a helpful framework for examining and guiding broad social issues and problems. Despite this widespread view, I argue that Nel Noddings, one of the early theorists in the tradition of Care Ethics, offers an account of a relational self that challenges how we think of selves, their constitution, and development. This yields a two-part argument: first, that this relational conception of self affords both new ways of thinking about implicit bias as an epistemological and moral problem and epistemic gains rather than costs. Second, that versions of Care Ethics which rely on a relational conception of self can address and help mitigate broad social issues and problems, such as the problem of implicit bias.

We hope to see you there!

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