Disability

Edited by Jami L. Anderson (University of Michigan - Flint)
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  1. Renewing Medicine’s Basic Concepts: On Ambiguity.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 13 (1):8.
    I argue that the concept of normality in medical research and practice is inextricable from that of ambiguity. I do so in the context of Edmund Pellegrino's call for a renewed reflection on medicine’s basic concepts and by drawing on work in critical disability studies concerning Deafness and body integrity identity disorder. If medical practitioners and philosophers of medicine wish to improve their understanding of the meaning of medicine as well as its concrete practice, they should take seriously the import (...)
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  2. Introducing Feminist Philosophy of Disability.Shelley Tremain - 2013 - Disability Studies Quarterly.
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  3. Are Psychiatric Kinds Real?Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):11-27.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean semantics). We then rehearse (...)
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  4. Psychiatric Explanation and Understanding.Tim Thornton - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):95-111.
    Jaspers’s binary distinction between understanding and explanation has given way first to a proliferation of explanatory levels and now, in John Campbell’s recent work, to a conception of explanation with no distinct levels of explanation and no inbuilt rationality requirement. I argue that there is still a role for understanding in psychiatry and that is to demystify the assumption that the states it concerns are mental. This role can be fulfilled by placing rationality at the heart of understanding without a (...)
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  5. Equality, Dignity, and Disability.Eva Feder Kittay - 2005 - In Mary Ann Lyons & Fionnuala Waldron (eds.), (2005) Perspectives on Equality The Second Seamus Heaney Lectures. Dublin:. The Liffey Press,.
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  6. Luck, Opportunity and Disability.Cynthia A. Stark - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):383-402.
    This paper argues that luck egalitarianism, especially in the guise of equality of opportunity for welfare, is in tension with the ideal of fair equality of opportunity in three ways. First, equal opportunity for welfare is compatible with a caste system in employment that is inconsistent with open competition for positions. Second, luck egalitarianism does not support hiring on the basis of qualifications. Third, amending luck egalitarianism to repair this problem requires abandoning fair access to qualifications. Insofar as luck egalitarianism (...)
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  7. Philosophy of Disability.Christine James - 2008 - Essays in Philosophy 9 (1):1-10.
    Disability has been a topic of heightened philosophical interest in the last 30 years. Disability theory has enriched a broad range of sub-specializations in philosophy. The call for papers for this issue welcomed papers addressing questions on normalcy, medical ethics, public health, philosophy of education, aesthetics, philosophy of sport, philosophy of religion, and theories of knowledge. This issue of Essays in Philosophy includes nine essays that approach the philosophy of disability in three distinct ways: The first set of three essays (...)
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  8. Genetic Engineering and The Non-Identity Problem.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2008 - Diametros 16:63-79.
    In my essay I consider the imaginary case of a future mother who refuses to undergo genetic alteration on her germline although she knows that her, as yet unconceived, child will have a serious genetic disorder. I analyze the good and bad points of two branches of arguments directed against her decision, consequentialist and rights-based. Then I discuss whether accepting one line of these arguments or the other makes a difference in moral assessment. I conclude that, although from the preanalytical (...)
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  9. Review of A History of Intelligence and 'Intellectual Disability': The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe by C. F. Goodey. [REVIEW]María G. Navarro - 2013 - Seventeenth-Century News 71 (1 & 2).
    A History of Intelligence and “Intellectual Disability” examines how the concepts of intellectual ability and disability became part of psychology, medicine and biology. Focusing on the period between the Protestant Reform and 1700, this book shows that in many cases it has been accepted without scientific and psychological foundations that intelligence and disability describe natural or trans-historical realities.
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  10. Adult Children and Eldercare: The Moral Considerations of Filial Obligations.H. Theixos - 2013 - Michigan Family Review 17 (1).
    This essay investigates the demands on adult children to provide care for their elderly/ill parents from a socio-moral perspective. In order to narrow the examination, the question pursued here is agent-relative: What social and moral complexities are involved for the adult child when her parent(s) need care? First, this article examines our society’s expectation that adult children are morally obligated to provide care for their parents. Second, the essay articulates how transgressing against this normative expectation can inure significant moral criticism. (...)
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  11. Globalizing Recognition. Global Justice and the Dialectic of Recognition.Gottfried Schweiger - 2012 - Public Reason 4 (1-2):78-91.
    The question I want to answer is if and how the recognition approach, taken from the works of Axel Honneth, could be an adequate framework for addressing the problems of global justice and poverty. My thesis is that such a globalization of the recognition approach rests on the dialectic of relative and absolute elements of recognition. (1) First, I will discuss the relativism of the recognition approach, that it understands recognition as being relative to a certain society or a set (...)
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  12. The Consumer Protection Model of Decisional Capacity Evaluation.Daniel D. Moseley & Gary J. Gala - 2013 - Southwest Philosophy Review 29 (1):241-248.
    Decisional capacity evaluations (DCEs) occur in clinical settings where it is unclear whether a consumer of medical services has the capacity to make an informed decision about the relevant medical options. DCEs are localized interventions, not the global loss of competence, that assign a surrogate decision maker to make the decision on behalf of the medical consumer. We maintain that one important necessary condition for a DCE to be morally justified, in cases of medical necessity, is that the health care (...)
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  13. Rethinking Health: Healthy or Healthier Than?S. Andrew Schroeder - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):131-159.
    Theorists of health have, to this point, focused exclusively on trying to define a state—health—that an organism might be in. I argue that they have overlooked the possibility of a comparativist theory of health, which would begin by defining a relation—healthier than—that holds between two organisms or two possible states of the same organism. I show that a comparativist approach to health has a number of attractive features, and has important implications for philosophers of medicine, bioethicists, health economists, and policy (...)
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  14. Review Essay of Racism and Sexual Oppression in Anglo-America: A Genealogy by Ladelle McWhorter and The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections by Licia Carlson. [REVIEW]Shelley Tremain - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (2):440-445.
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  15. Clarifying Capacity: Reasons and Value.Jules Holroyd - forthcoming - In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Health. Oxford University Press.
    It is usually appropriate for adults to make significant decisions, such as about what kinds of medical treatment to undergo, for themselves. But sometimes impairments are suffered - either temporary or permanent - which render an individual unable to make such decisions. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out the conditions under which it is appropriate to regard an individual as lacking the capacity to make a particular decision (and when provisions should be made for a decision on their behalf). (...)
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  16. Why Group Membership Matters; A Critical Typology.Suzy Killmister - forthcoming - Ethnicities.
    The question of why group-differentiated rights might be a requirement of justice has been a central focus of identity politics in recent decades. I attempt to bring some clarity to this discussion by proposing a typology to track the various ways in which individuals can be harmed or benefited as a consequence of their membership in social groups. It is the well-being of individuals that group-differentiated rights should be understood as protecting, and so clarity on the relationship between group membership (...)
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  17. How Helen Keller Used Syntactic Semantics to Escape From a Chinese Room.William J. Rapaport - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (4):381-436.
    A computer can come to understand natural language the same way Helen Keller did: by using “syntactic semantics”—a theory of how syntax can suffice for semantics, i.e., how semantics for natural language can be provided by means of computational symbol manipulation. This essay considers real-life approximations of Chinese Rooms, focusing on Helen Keller’s experiences growing up deaf and blind, locked in a sort of Chinese Room yet learning how to communicate with the outside world. Using the SNePS computational knowledge-representation system, (...)
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  18. Respecting Human Dignity: Contract Versus Capabilities.Cynthia A. Stark - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):366-381.
    There appears to be a tension between two commitments in liberalism. The first is that citizens, as rational agents possessing dignity, are owed a justification for principles of justice. The second is that members of society who do not meet the requirements of rational agency are owed justice. These notions conflict because the first commitment is often expressed through the device of the social contract, which seems to confine the scope of justice to rational agents. So, contractarianism seems to ignore (...)
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  19. Biopower, Styles of Reasoning, and What's Still Missing From the Stem Cell Debates.Shelley Tremain - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (3):577 - 609.
    Until now, philosophical debate about human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research has largely been limited to its ethical dimensions and implications. Although the importance and urgency of these ethical debates should not be underestimated, the almost undivided attention that mainstream and feminist philosophers have paid to the ethical dimensions of hESC research suggests that the only philosophically interesting questions and concerns about it are by and large ethical in nature. My argument goes some distance to challenge the assumption that ethical (...)
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  20. Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. [REVIEW]Andy Lamey - 2007 - Philosophical Books 48 (4):376-81.
    Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership, by Martha Nussbaum, Harvard University Press, 2006. How should we measure human development? The most popular method used to be to focus on wealth and income, as when international development agencies rank countries according to their per capita gross domestic product. Critics, however, have long noted shortcomings with this approach. Consider for example a wealthy person in a wheelchair: her problem is not a financial one, but a lack of access to public spaces. (...)
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  21. The Individualist Model of Autonomy and the Challenge of Disability.Anita Ho - 2008 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2-3):193-207.
    In recent decades, the intertwining ideas of self-determination and well-being have received tremendous support in bioethics. Discussions regarding self-determination, or autonomy, often focus on two dimensions—the capacity of the patient and the freedom from external coercion. The practice of obtaining informed consent, for example, has become a standard procedure in therapeutic and research medicine. On the surface, it appears that patients now have more opportunities to exercise their self-determination than ever. Nonetheless, discussions of patient autonomy in the bioethics literature, which (...)
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  22. Contractarianism and Cooperation.Cynthia A. Stark - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):73-99.
    Because contractarians see justice as mutual advantage, they hold that justice can be rationally grounded only when each can expect to gain from it. John Rawls seems to avoid this feature of contractarianism by fashioning the parties to the contract as Kantian agents whose personhood grounds their claims to justice. But Rawls also endorses the Humean idea that justice applies only if people are equal in ability. It would seem to follow from this idea that dependent persons (such as the (...)
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  23. How to Include the Severely Disabled in a Contractarian Theory of Justice.Cynthia A. Stark - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):127-145.
    This paper argues that, with modification, Rawls's social contract theory can produce principles of distributive justice applying to the severely disabled. It is a response to critics who claim that Rawls's assumption that the parties in the original position represent fully cooperating citizens excludes the disabled from the social contract. I propose that this idealizing assumption should be dropped at the constitutional stage of the contract where the parties decide on a social minimum. Knowing that they might not be fully (...)
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  24. Reproductive Freedom, Self-Regulation, and the Government of Impairment in Utero.Shelley Tremain - 2006 - Hypatia 21 (1):35-53.
    : This article critically examines the constitution of impairment in prenatal testing and screening practices and various discourses that surround these technologies. While technologies to test and screen prenatally are claimed to enhance women's capacity to be self-determining, make informed reproductive choices, and, in effect, wrest control of their bodies from a patriarchal medical establishment, I contend that this emerging relation between pregnant women and reproductive technologies is a new strategy of a form of power that began to emerge in (...)
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  25. Stemming the Tide of Normalisation: An Expanded Feminist Analysis of the Ethics and Social Impact of Embryonic Stem Cell Research.Shelley Tremain - 2006 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (1-2):33-42.
    Feminists have indicated the inadequacies of bioethical debates about human embryonic stem cell research, which have for the most part revolved around concerns about the moral status of the human embryo. Feminists have argued, for instance, that inquiry concerning the ethics and politics of human embryonic stem cell research should consider the relations of social power in which the research is embedded. My argument is that this feminist work on stem cells is itself inadequate, however, insofar as it has not (...)
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  26. The Biopolitics of Bioethics and Disability.Shelley Tremain - 2008 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2-3):101-106.
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The Concept of Disability
  1. The Cattle in the Long Cedar Springs Draw.Gary Comstock - 2019 - In Nandita Batra & Mario Wenning (eds.), The Human–Animal Boundary Exploring the Line in Philosophy and Fiction. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 97-114.
    The argument for vegetarianism from overlapping species goes like this. Every individual who is the subject of a life has a right to life. Some humans—e.g., the severely congenitally cognitively limited—lack language, rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness, and yet they are subjects of a life. Severely congenitally cognitively limited humans have a right to life. Some animals—e.g., all mammals—lack language, rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness, and yet they are subjects of a life. We ought to treat like cases alike. The cases of (...)
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  2. Philosophy of Disability as Critical Diversity Studies.Shelley Tremain - 2018 - International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies 1 (1).
    Critical diversity studies (CDS) can be found within “traditional,” or “established,” university disciplines, such as philosophy, as well as in relatively newer departments of the university, such as African studies departments, women’s and gender studies departments, and disability studies departments. In this article, therefore, I explain why philosophy of disability, an emerging subfield in the discipline of philosophy, should be recognized as an emerging area of CDS also. My discussion in the article situates philosophy of disability in CDS by both (...)
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  3. Merleau-Ponty, World-Creating Blindness, and the Phenomenology of Non-Normate Bodies.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2017 - Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty's Thought 19:419-434.
    An increasing number of scholars at the intersection of feminist philosophy and critical disability studies have turned to Merleau-Ponty to develop phenomenologies of disability or of what, following Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, I call "non-normate" embodiment. These studies buck the historical trend of philosophers employing disability as an example of deficiency or harm, a mere litmus test for normative theories, or an umbrella term for aphenotypical bodily variation. While a Merleau-Pontian-inspired phenomenology is a promising starting point for thinking about embodied experiences of (...)
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  4. Reviewing Resistances to Reconceptualizing Disability.Chong-Ming Lim - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3):321-331.
    I attempt to adjudicate the disagreement between those who seek to reconceptualize disability as mere difference and their opponents. I do so by reviewing a central conviction motivating the resistance, concerning the relationship between disability and well-being. I argue that the conviction depends on further considerations about the costs and extent of change involved in accommodating individuals with a particular disability trait. I conclude by considering three pay-offs of this clarification.
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  5. The Disability Studies Industry.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: a Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: The University of Buckingham Press. pp. 83-94.
    This brief monograph was written in an attempt to discover the general situation of Disability Studies, given that this appears to have become a growth area in academia with various typically illiberal aspects. The findings bear out the initial impression. There is a style of argument, even propaganda (for there is usually little genuine engagement with opposing liberal views), that can be seen in many other areas of academia. It amounts to a relatively new ‘progressive’ industry with various fashionable keywords, (...)
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  6. Accommodation or Cure: A Synthesis of Neurodiverse and Cure Theory Recommendations for Autism Action.Kavanagh Chandra - 2015 - Association for the Advancement of Philosophy in Psychiatry Bulletin 22 (1):4-8.
    As a result of vocal autism activists pushing against traditional views of autism, there is a bilateral debate that reflects a deeper philosophical divide between medical and social definitions of disability. Both sides seek to determine the manner in which autistics and their communities view autism, and thus influence the manner in which cures or treatments are sought, dispensed and taken up. Through an investigation of this debate, this project will explore the practical benefits and ethical obligations of accommodating autistic (...)
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  7. Review of Julia Kristeva's Hatred and Forgiveness. [REVIEW]Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2016 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 121 (10):721-22.
    Julia Kristeva shines in this book. The review makes a case for us studying Kristeva as the most relevant psychoanalyst of our time. She should be read over Lacan. Her understanding of this century is more incisive than any other psychoanalytic thinker alive today. At least, in this book. Kristeva's contention is that hatred gives way to paranoia.
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  8. Dialogues on Disability.Shelley Tremain - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72 (1):109-110.
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  9. New Work on Foucault and Disability: An Introductory Note.Shelley Tremain - 2015 - Foucault Studies (19):4.
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  10. This is What a Historicist and Relativist Feminist Philosophy of Disability Looks Like.Shelley Tremain - 2015 - Foucault Studies (19):7.
    ABSTRACT: With this article, I advance a historicist and relativist feminist philosophy of disability. I argue that Foucault’s insights offer the most astute tools with which to engage in this intellectual enterprise. Genealogy, the technique of investigation that Friedrich Nietzsche famously introduced and that Foucault took up and adapted in his own work, demonstrates that Foucault’s historicist approach has greater explanatory power and transgressive potential for analyses of disability than his critics in disability studies have thus far recognized. I show (...)
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  11. Disabling Philosophy.Shelley Tremain - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 65 (63):15-17.
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  12. A Life Not Worth Living.Jami L. Anderson - 2014 - In David P. Pierson (ed.), Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Contexts, Politics, Style, and Reception of the Television Series. Lexington Press. pp. 103-118.
    What is so striking about Breaking Bad is how centrally impairment and disability feature in the lives of the characters of this series. It is unusual for a television series to cast characters with visible or invisible impairments. On the rare occasions that television shows do have characters with impairments, these characters serve no purpose other than to contribute to their ‘Otherness.’ Breaking Bad not only centralizes impairment, but impairment drives and sustains the story lines. I use three interrelated themes (...)
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  13. Foucault, Governmentality, and Critical Disability Theory: An Introduction.Shelley Tremain - 2005 - In Foucault and the Government of Disability. University of Michigan Press. pp. 1--24.
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  14. Theory of Mind and Schizophrenia☆.Rajendra D. Badgaiyan - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):320-322.
    A number of cognitive and behavioral variables influence the performance in tasks of theory of mind (ToM). Since two of the most important variables, memory and explicit expression, are impaired in schizophrenic patients, the ToM appears inconsistent in these patients. An ideal instrument of ToM should therefore account for deficient memory and impaired ability of these patients to explicitly express intentions. If such an instrument is developed, it should provide information that can be used not only to understand the pathophysiology (...)
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  15. Introduction to Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy.Eva Feder Kittay & Licia Carlson - 2000 - Metaphilosophy 31 (5):449-451.
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Disability and Well-Being
  1. What’s Wrong with “You Say You’Re Happy, but…” Reasoning?Jason Marsh - forthcoming - In David Wasserman & Adam Cureton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability. Oxford University Press.
    Disability-positive philosophers often note a troubling tendency to dismiss what disabled people say about their well-being. This chapter seeks to get clearer on why this tendency might be troubling. It argues that recent appeals to lived experience, testimonial injustice, and certain challenges to adaptive-preference reasoning do not fully explain what is wrong with questioning the happiness of disabled people. It then argues that common attempts to debunk the claim that disabled people are happy are worrisome because they threaten everyone’s well-being (...)
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  2. Three Things Clinicians Should Know About Disability.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - AMA Journal of Ethics 12 (20):E1181-1187.
    The historical relationship between health care professionals and people with disabilities is fraught, a fact all the more troubling in light of the distinctive roles clinicians play in both establishing and responding to that which is considered normal or abnormal by society at large. Those who wish to improve their clinical practice might struggle, however, to keep up with developments across numerous disability communities as well as the ever-growing body of disability studies scholarship. To assist with this goal, I offer (...)
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  3. Well-Being, Opportunity, and Selecting for Disability.Andrew Schroeder - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (1).
    In this paper I look at the much-discussed case of disabled parents seeking to conceive disabled children. I argue that the permissibility of selecting for disability does not depend on the precise impact the disability will have on the child’s wellbeing. I then turn to an alternative analysis, which argues that the permissibility of selecting for disability depends on the impact that disability will have on the child’s future opportunities. Nearly all bioethicists who have approached the issue in this way (...)
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  4. The Extended Body: On Aging, Disability, and Well‐Being.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - Hastings Center Report 48 (S3):S31-S36.
    Insofar as many older adults fit some definition of disability, disability studies and gerontology would seem to have common interests and goals. However, there has been little discussion between these fields. The aim of this paper is to open up the insights of disability studies as well as philosophy of disability to discussions in gerontology. In doing so, I hope to contribute to thinking about the good life in late life by more critically reflecting upon the meaning of the body, (...)
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  5. Reviewing Resistances to Reconceptualizing Disability.Chong-Ming Lim - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3):321-331.
    I attempt to adjudicate the disagreement between those who seek to reconceptualize disability as mere difference and their opponents. I do so by reviewing a central conviction motivating the resistance, concerning the relationship between disability and well-being. I argue that the conviction depends on further considerations about the costs and extent of change involved in accommodating individuals with a particular disability trait. I conclude by considering three pay-offs of this clarification.
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  6. Ways to Be Worse Off.Ian Stoner - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (4):921-949.
    Does disability make a person worse off? I argue that the best answer is yes and no, because we can be worse off in two conceptually distinct ways. Disabilities usually make us worse off in one way (typified by facing hassles) but not in the other (typified by facing loneliness). Acknowledging two conceptually distinct ways to be worse off has fundamental implications for philosophical theories of well-being.
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  7. The Ableism of Quality of Life Judgments in Disorders of Consciousness: Who Bears Epistemic Responsibility?Joel Michael Reynolds - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (1):59-61.
    In this peer commentary on L. Syd M. Johnson’s “Inference and Inductive Risk in Disorders of Consciousness,” I argue for the necessity of disability education as an integral component of decision-making processes concerning patients with DOC and, mutatis mutandis, all patients with disabilities. The sole qualification Johnson places on such decision-making is that stakeholders are educated about and “understand the uncertainties of diagnosis and prognosis.” Drawing upon research in philosophy of disability, social epistemology, and health psychology, I argue that this (...)
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  8. Love in Spite Of.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6:241-262.
    Consider two commonly cited requirements of love. The first is that we should love people for who they are. The second is that loving people should involve concern for their well-being. But what happens when an aspect of someone’s identity conflicts with her well-being? In examining this question, I develop an account of loving someone in spite of something. Although there are cases where loving in spite of is merited, I argue that we generally do wrong to love people in (...)
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  9. Health, Disability, and Well-Being.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    Much academic work (in philosophy, economics, law, etc.), as well as common sense, assumes that ill health reduces well-being. It is bad for a person to become sick, injured, disabled, etc. Empirical research, however, shows that people living with health problems report surprisingly high levels of well-being - in some cases as high as the self-reported well-being of healthy people. In this chapter, I explore the relationship between health and well-being. I argue that although we have good reason to believe (...)
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