University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Willem deVries
Stereotypes: A Philosophical Investigation
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate from a philosophical standpoint why it is wrong to use stereotypes in an abusive manner. In order to make this argument, this project will need to be interdisciplinary; I will draw from psychology as well as philosophy. The psychological literature will allow for definitions of stereotypes and prejudice and will also look at tests that reveal implicit prejudice; the philosophical section will use Kant’s ethics to guide my own argument against negative stereotypes. Overall, this project will have 5 sections: (1) Stereotypes and Prejudice; (2) Stereotypes and Values; (3) Structure of Implicit Prejudice; (4) Kant’s Ethics; (5) Racial Theory. At the end of the project, there will be a section that brings to light 3 proposals that are the best methods for managing and restricting prejudice. Managing and restricting prejudice is important because it will allow for an egalitarian and moral society. This project stresses the significance of implicit prejudice as the form of prejudice that is most pervasive and hardest to eradicate.