Lingering stereotypes: Salience bias in philosophical argument

Fischer, Eugen and Engelhardt, Paul (2020) Lingering stereotypes: Salience bias in philosophical argument. Mind and Language, 35 (4). pp. 415-439. ISSN 0268-1064

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Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments involve unusual cases. We present empirical reasons to doubt the reliability of intuitive judgments and conclusions about such cases. Inferences and intuitions prompted by verbal case descriptions are influenced by routine comprehension processes which invoke stereotypes. We build on psycholinguistic findings to determine conditions under which the stereotype associated with the most salient sense of a word predictably supports inappropriate inferences from descriptions of unusual (stereotype-divergent) cases. We conduct an experiment that combines plausibility ratings with pupillometry to document this ‘salience bias’: We find that under certain conditions, competent speakers automatically make stereotypical inferences they know to be inappropriate.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: comprehension inferences,non-contextual salience,philosophical intuitions,philosophical method,pupillometry,stereotypes,language and linguistics,philosophy,linguistics and language ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1203
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2019 10:30
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2020 23:52
DOI: 10.1111/mila.12249

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