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Belief Content and Rationality: Why Racist Beliefs Are Not Rational (Eric Bayruns Garcia)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 15th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) via Zoom for a talk by Eric Bayruns Garcia (Cal State San Bernardino).

Title: Belief Content and Rationality: Why Racist Beliefs Are Not Rational

Abstract: I present a novel defense of the evidentialist thesis in the debate between epistemologists who defend this thesis and those who defend the moral encroachment thesis. Both sides of the moral encroachment-evidentialism debate suppose that the belief class of what I call seemingly-rational-racist beliefs obtains. I reject that this belief class of seemingly- rational-racist beliefs obtains on the basis that beliefs with this kind of content are false and evidentially unsupported. I submit that they are false and evidentially unsupported because of how the content of these beliefs relate to the social-linguistic practices and habits that compose racial injustice in the US and other similarly colonized societies. I diagnose that a problem with this debate is that both sides in this debate conceive of the content of race terms and beliefs that attribute negative features to Black, Indigenous and Latinx persons without considering how they function in a racially unjust society.

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