Bias in Context 3: Interpersonal Interventions and Collective Action.

Implicit biases are a psychological phenomenon, but one deeply embedded in our social context. Our earlier events have focused on how to understand the relationship between psychological and structural explanations.

This event focuses on how philosophical and psychological research can be enriched by moving beyond an individualistic focus. We focus on ways that responses to implicit bias can move beyond the individualistic approach often found in empirical psychology, and harness the resources of interpersonal interactions and collective action to combat bias.


Philosophy of Birth Seminars (co-sponsored with Medical Humanities Sheffield), Stella Villarmea:
TALK 1: 28th June, 14:00 – 16:00, Location Jessop West, Seminar Room 3
The debate of the ‘thinking uterus’. Enlightenment, Gender and Obstetrics
One of the more extended theses in the history of philosophy is the claim according to which women’s capacity to create is identified with the fact of being able to give birth. This topic—woman creates by giving birth—is complemented by another idea that is not at all trivial: the process of pregnancy does not need to be reflected upon. The conclusion of this line of thought is clear: women create in an unconscious manner. As a consequence, pregnancy is frequently conceived as an irrational, or at least as a non-rational, process. In my talk I will explore the construction of this thesis in a significant moment of the history of ideas. I will thus present the debate on ‘thinking uterus’ at the beginnings of Obstetrics during the Enlightenment. I will also introduce a little-known contribution to the struggle for women’s equality: Giacomo Casanova’s surprising position on the debate of the thinking uterus. The final aim of the talk is to use the historical analysis to throw light on some contemporary approaches to childbirth.

Talk 2: 29th June, 14:00 – 16:00, Jessop West, Seminar Room 8
Values in Obstetric Controversies: An Epistemological Inquiry
Which philosophical assumptions underlie contemporary obstetrics? The talk will address some of the current debates on obstetrics. In relation to the notion of pregnancy, labour and childbirth, we risk our notions of the world and the human being. Obstetrics is a fruitful field to explore questions and answers such as citizenship, health, body or the relationships between knowledge, power and practices. Philosophy of Birth has an added value when it is supported by empirical data and medical practices analysis. Research in this field is closely linked to innovation and knowledge transference, as it is the case of medical humanities in general.

Care Ethics Conference, June 2016.

Health Care Seminars, Autumn 2015: A series of monthly interdisciplinary seminars on the place of Care Ethics in Medicine.

30 July, 2015: Engaged Philosophy Panel at the fourth annual Understanding Value Conference, Humanities Research Institute.

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This session of the fourth annual Understanding Value Conference centers around issues that put philosophy in direct contact with the world and allows philosophy to engage with the social and political.

Catherine Greene: What is the Value of Financial Assets?
Emily McWilliams: Ameliorative Inquiry in Epistemology

Launch Events:

The Centre launched with two public lectures at the Upper Chapel, on 14 and 21 May 2015.

14 May 2015, 8PM: “Roma, Recognition and Reconstruction” by Albert Atkin, Macquarie University

From Henry VIIIth to the present Government all laws and policies directed at Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) groups have been a spectacular failure. This paper argues that the reasons for failure stem from ignoring the importance of positive recognition, and in sidelining GRT perspectives in defining who “Gypsies” are. Drawing on work from the Philosophy of Race, Albert Atkin maintains that unless Governments make GRT perspectives central, and hand over the definitional task to gypsies roma and travellers, policies will continue to fail—recognition will never be more than an ethnic headcount, and attempts to resolve the “problems of Gypsies” will continue to be attempts to solve “the gypsy problem”, collapsing into definitional genocide.


21 May 2015, 8PM: “Imagining Racial Justice for Black People in the United States” by Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University

Kristie Dotson uses philosophy to help support, generate and defend research, advocacy and activism that might change the current plight of Black people in the US, particularly promoting better conditions for Black cis- and trans* women, girls and gender non-conforming people.