Thomas KellyMar 1, 2023
A Philosophical Study
Oxford University Press 2023
The concept of bias is familiar enough, partly because it is deployed frequently and in different contexts. For example, we talk about biased jurors, biased procedures, biased laws, biased decisions, and biased people. But we also talk about bias as a feature of certain frames of mind, habits, dispositions, and mental processes. In most of these contexts, bias is seen as a kind of failing or a bad-making feature. Attributions of bias are hence often accusatory, or at least a matter of negative assessment.
Although these phenomena are familiar, questions remain. Is bias is a single thing? Is bias always bad? Is bias always misleading? Can bias be eliminated? In Bias: A Philosophical Study (Oxford University Press, 2023), Thomas Kelly addresses a broad range of such questions. He develops a norm-theoretic account of what bias is, and then explores its implications.
Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.