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Risk aversion and elite-group ignorance

Kinney, David and Bright, Liam Kofi (2023) Risk aversion and elite-group ignorance. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 106 (1). 35 - 57. ISSN 0031-8205

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Identification Number: 10.1111/phpr.12837


Critical race theorists and standpoint epistemologists argue that agents who are members of dominant social groups are often in a state of ignorance about the extent of their social dominance, where this ignorance is explained by these agents' membership in a socially dominant group (e.g., Mills 2007). To illustrate this claim bluntly, it is argued: 1) that many white men do not know the extent of their social dominance, 2) that they remain ignorant as to the extent of their dominant social position even where this information is freely attainable, and 3) that this ignorance is due in part to the fact that they are white men. We argue that on Buchak's (2010, 2013) model of risk averse instrumental rationality, ignorance of one's privileges can be rational. This argument yields a new account of elite-group ignorance, why it may occur, and how it might be alleviated.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LLC
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 10:03
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 03:27

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