Know Thyself: How Unconscious Biases Persist Despite Our Good Intentions

Nov. 28
2-3 p.m.
Online (Zoom)

Socrates famously said that to “know thyself” is the most important component of being a rational and moral person. This injunction may appear to be ‘easy’ on the face of it. Knowing how to diagnose an illness for instance, seems far more challenging. Knowing one’s self? That should be easy. Yet coming to ‘know’ your own beliefs, particularly about social and cultural differences, and discussing those beliefs openly and in public, with people who may have different beliefs and experiences, is far more challenging. In this workshop, we will consider how ‘knowing thyself’ is as hard in our professional lives as it is in our communities, in the media, in politics, in online blog comments, and in global divisions and international affairs. We will examine the subtle factors that make unconscious biases persist and we will explore strategies to increase self-knowledge and self-awareness so that we can make the most of the talents and abilities of our team members.

Session Objectives:
At the conclusion of this activity, learners should be better able to:
  • Identify the factors that contribute to undermining self-awareness.
  • Reflectively assess unconscious and implicit biases.
  • Actively promote self-understanding about others’ talents and abilities.
  • Create initiatives that will energize people around diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Maureen Linker, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Literature, Philosophy and the Arts
University of Michigan - Dearborn

Zoom Link