Conference: Bias in Context


Bias in Context: Psychological and Structural Explanations
The University of Sheffield, September 5th & 6th 2016
Humanities Research Institute

Full details, registration and accessibility information are available at this link:

What is the relationship between psychological and structural explanations of persistent social injustice? Much empirical and philosophical work focuses on individualistic psychological explanations for ongoing injustice. Such explanations appeal to phenomena such as prejudice, implicit bias, stereotyping, and stereotype threat, in order to understand persisting inequities in a broad range of contexts, including educational, corporate, and informal social contexts.

A key challenge to this body of work maintains that the focus on individual psychology is at best obfuscatory of, and at worst totally irrelevant to, more fundamental causes of injustice, which are institutional and structural. Yet structural explanations face difficulties accommodating the extent to which individual agency is implicated in those problematic structures or institutions. Nor are they well placed to articulate how individual agency might be directed towards changing these structures.

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference series is to examine the relationship between psychological explanations and structural explanations of injustice. This work will generate more fully worked-out understandings of the interaction between these two kinds of explanation. These understandings can inform both future empirical study, institutional policy, and individual and collective action.

Dr Saray Ayala (California State University, Sacramento)
Dr Lacey Davidson & Dr Daniel Kelly (Purdue University)
Dr Alex Madva (Cal Poly Pomona)
Professor Jennifer Saul (University of Sheffield)
Dr Joseph Sweetman (University of Exeter)
Professor Nicole Tausch (University of St Andrews)
Dr Robin Zheng (Yale-NUS College)

Thanks to the Mind Association, The Society for Applied Philosophy, and the Analysis Trust for their support.

Analysis Trust bursaries are available to post-graduates and underemployed philosophers in order to subsidize up to 50% of the costs of registration and accommodation. Interested parties should contact the organizers to inquire about such bursaries.

If you have any queries, please contact the organizers:
Andreas Bunge: afbunge1[AT]
Administrative assistant
Jules Holroyd: j.d.holroyd[AT]
Erin Beeghly: erin.beeghly[AT]