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Epistemology and Affirmative Action

By Prindle Institute
27 Aug 2014
A diverse group of young children walking down a path through a forest

Whatever your views about affirmative action are, this is well worth watching. Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa, a philosophy professor at University of British Columbia, argues that recent psychological evidence about implicit bias may yield an argument in favor of affirmative action policies that is purely merit based. What is interesting and novel about his argument is that affirmative action policies are typically argued against because they tend to ignore merit based considerations. Ichikawa argues that even if you think we should only consider merit in hiring policies, we still have reason to favor certain affirmative action policies given what we know about implicit bias.

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