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Joel Michael Reynolds
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  1. 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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  2. “I’D Rather Be Dead Than Disabled”—The Ableist Conflation and the Meanings of Disability.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2017 - Review of Communication 17 (3):149-63.
    Despite being assailed for decades by disability activists and disability studies scholars spanning the humanities and social sciences, the medical model of disability—which conceptualizes disability as an individual tragedy or misfortune due to genetic or environmental insult—still today structures many cases of patient–practitioner communication. Synthesizing and recasting work done across critical disability studies and philosophy of disability, I argue that the reason the medical model of disability remains so gallingly entrenched is due to what I call the “ableist conflation” of (...)
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  3.  50
    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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  4. Toward a Critical Theory of Harm: Ableism, Normativity, and Transability (BIID).Joel Michael Reynolds - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 16 (1):37-45.
    Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) is a very rare condition describing those with an intense desire or need to move from a state of ability to relative impairment, typically through the amputation of one or more limbs. In this paper, I draw upon research in critical disability studies and philosophy of disability to critique arguments based upon the principle of nonmaleficence against such surgery. I demonstrate how the action-relative concept of harm in such arguments relies upon suspect notions of biological (...)
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  5.  56
    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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  6.  22
    Infotality: On Living, Loving, and Dying Through Information.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (2):33-35.
    Responding to Danaher et al. on self-tracking technologies, I argue that human lived experience is becoming increasingly mediated by generalized, statistical information, which I term our "infotality." Drawing on the work of Foucault, I argue that infotality is historically novel and best understood as the product of biopolitics, healthism, and informatics. I then critique the authors' "stance of cautious openness,” which misunderstands the aims of the technology in question and the fundamental ambiguity of the role information plays in the achievement (...)
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  7.  24
    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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  8. Feminism and Disability.Joel Michael Reynolds & Anita Silvers - 2017 - In Carol Hay (ed.), Philosophy: Feminism. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 295-316.
    The article introduces readers to the study of disability, both with respect to the interdisciplinary field of disability studies and the field of philosophy of disability. We then offer an overview of three central areas of philosophical inquiry where feminist work in philosophy and disability has made significant contributions: (1) metaphysics and ontology, (2) epistemology and phenomenology, and (3) ethical, social, and political philosophy.
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  9.  89
    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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  10.  76
    Infinite Responsibility in the Bedpan: Response Ethics, Care Ethics, and the Phenomenology of Caregiving.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (4):779-794.
    Drawing upon the practice of caregiving and the insights of feminist care ethics, I offer a phenomenology of caregiving. I argue that caregiving is a material dialectic of embodied response involving moments of leveling, attention, and interruption. In this light, the Levinasian opposition between responding to another's singularity and leveling it via parity-based principles is belied in the experience of care. Contra much of response ethics’ and care ethics’ respective literatures, this dialectic suggests that they are complementary in ways that (...)
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  11.  30
    Being Better Bodies. [REVIEW]Joel Michael Reynolds - 2017 - Hastings Center Report 47 (6):46-47.
    [Excerpt]: Bioethics has an uneasy relationship with embodiment. Only with vigilance does knowledge of the body as it is lived counterbalance the momentous inertia of knowledge of the body as an object brought about by modern medical sciences. As a field tethered to detached, technical ways of knowing the world, bioethics must toil to treat the body as more than mere material and machine. To be more is, among other things, to be social—to live in the thickets of interdependence and (...)
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