g Haslanger this volume And although psychologists have not studied

G haslanger this volume and although psychologists

This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 31 pages.

femaleness (see e.g. Haslanger, this volume). And although psychologists have not studied philosophers’ stereotypes of philosophy, 13 they have extensively studied stereotypes of mathematics. Mathematics is strongly stereotyped as male (e.g. Nosek et. al. 2002), and it seems reasonable to suppose that Anglophone philosophy, with its heavy use of logic, will inherit this stereotype. (It is true that not all Anglophone philosophy makes heavy use of logic, but nonetheless logical competence is generally viewed as a necessary condition for success in the field: logic courses are widely required of both undergraduate and postgraduate philosophy students.) 13 The study I am currently involved with, noted above, is the one exception.
Image of page 7
It seems very likely, then that philosophers will display implicit bias against women and  that women in philosophy will experience stereotype threat. 14   (The literature 15  on both  these topics also tells us that people will often be unaware that either of these things are  happening.) It would be very surprising, then, if these forces did not play a role in the  under-representation of women in philosophy. 16 I have sometimes heard it suggested that philosophers would not be subject to implicit  bias against stigmatised social groups, due to their greater ability to be objective.  Research has shown, however, that people systematically overestimate their own ability  to be objective (Uhlmann and Cohen 2006). Even more importantly, it turns out that  being primed with objectivity (e.g. asked to tick a box rating one’s own objectivity)  increases susceptibility to gender bias in job applicant evaluation (Uhlmann and Cohen  2006).  If that’s right, then philosophers may be  especially  subject to implicit biases,  rather than especially immune from them.  One might also object that philosophers are unlikely to hold the same sorts of views of  women in philosophy as the public at large—after all, our views about philosophy are in  general different from those in the broader population.  The first thing to note is that this  objection is only applicable to claims specifically about women in philosophy (e.g. that  philosophy is stereotyped as male).  Even if correct, it would have no bearing on the  claim that philosophers are likely to make the same sorts of negative evaluations of  women in general that other humans do.  But I don’t really see any reason to suppose that 14 One might worry that accepting the existence of stereotype threat would commit one to the thought that women are actually performing less well than men at philosophy—so we shouldn’t be worried by (for example) all-male conferences, since these simply reflect the fact that women are producing inferior philosophy.
Image of page 8
Image of page 9

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture