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09/15/2015

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Perhaps I should wait for your next posting, but I did wonder how this might fit in with the traditional idea of role responsibility. In your Title IX training example, obviously there is an expectation that you will be aware of and attempt to avoid the effects of unconscious bias etc. Now this phenomenon has been pointed out to you, you have a certain duty, and expectations are higher for someone fulfilling your particular office. And if enough people complain this is too onerous, possibly this duty might subsequently be removed.

David, I am planning on talking more about unconscious biases and such in the next post, but the length of my last blog got seriously out of hand :) By role responsibility, do you just mean that the role that I occupy carries certain obligations? No issue there, personally. What I'm really interested in is how to conceptualize responsibility for actions that are caused by things like unconscious biases, and I think it's worth thinking about this more practically too. Given that we tend to think we are not biased, ourselves, and since it is hard to notice when we are, how do we get to a point where we are less influenced, if influenced at all, by such biases?

By attaining a reflective equilibrium, of course [insert smiley here].

We have a history now of various kinds of sensitivity training, and even if we don't have sufficient introspective power to assess all our decisions, we can look at aggregate outcomes eg sex ratios in jobs, and decide there is a pattern that should be reversed.

I mentioned role responsibility, just because it is a different flavour from the usual type of moral responsibility that comes up in free will discussions - varying according to one's position in society, life stage, expectations of others.

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