Abstract:

Are implicit biases under an agent's control? A number of theorists (Saul 2013, Levy 2014, Glasgow ms.) have argued that individuals do not have control, in the relevant sense, over the operation of implicit bias; accordingly implicit biases cannot be attributed to an agent, nor be the subject of moral evaluation. We first argue that this is mistaken; these views do not delineate the relevant sense of control for attributing the bias to the agent. Accordingly, lack of control in these senses does not exempt the agent's implicit biases from being a target of moral evaluation. We then articulate and develop a notion of control that individuals have with respect to implicit bias. We argue that this kind of control - ecological control - can ground moral evaluation of the agent who possesses such behavioural dispositions, as well as articulating ways of remedying these aspects of our cognition.