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Essays in Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 1, January 2008
Philosophy of Disability

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Displaying: 1-20 of 20 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Christine A. James Philosophy of Disability
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essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Julie Joy Clarke Doubly Monstrous?: Female and Disabled
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In this article I consider instances in visual culture in which artists and filmmakers aestheticize women with damaged, missing or anomalous limbs. I focus upon Joel Peter Witkin’s photomontage Las Meninas (1987), Peter Greenaway’s film “A Zed and Two Noughts” (1985), Alison Lapper Pregnant a statue by Marc Quinn, Mathew Barney’s film “Cremaster” (2002), David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (1996), Luis Buñuel’s “Tristana” (1970) and David Lynch’s short film “The Amputee” (1973). I argue that although the artists and filmmakers reveal, rather than disguise the damaged, anomalous or missing limb(s) of the women, thus valorising their particular embodiment, these women are paradoxically still portrayed as deviant and monstrous.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Sophia Isako Wong Justice and Cognitive Disabilities: Specifying the Problem
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The question of how to treat people with cognitive disabilities (PCDs) poses an important problem for Rawlsian theories of justice because it is unclear whether PCDs are included within the scope of moral personhood. Rawls’s Standard Solution focuses on nondisabled adults as the fundamental case, while later addressing PCDs as marginal cases. I claim that the Standard Solution has two weaknesses. First, it relies on a dichotomy between nondisabled and disabled that is tenuous and difficult to defend. Second, it makes the theory circular in a vicious way.I argue that Rawls’s theory can be revised so that it solves the problem of how to treat PCDs while avoiding the two weaknesses of the Standard Solution. There are three constraints on any successfully revised Rawlsian theory: 1) it must be resourcist rather than welfarist; 2) it must provide some principled basis for limiting our obligations to PCDs; and 3) it must address the whole range of PCDs, including the most severely disabled individuals.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
H-Dirksen Bauman Listening to Phonocentrism with Deaf Eyes: Derrida’s Mute Philosophy of (Sign) Language
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5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Adam Cureton A Rawlsian Perspective on Justice for the Disabled
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I aim to identify and describe some basic elements of a Rawlsian approach that may help us to think conscientiously about how, from the standpoint of justice, we should treat the disabled. Rawls has been criticized for largely ignoring issues of this sort. These criticisms lose their appeal, I suggest, when we distinguish between a Rawlsian standpoint and the limited project Rawls mainly undertakes in A Theory of Justice. There his explicit aim is to find principles of justice, which are to govern the basic structures of a closed, well-ordered society that exists under reasonably favorable conditions, that would be chosen by parties in the original position from among a small set of traditional conceptions of justice. Once we develop a conception of justice for a society like that, Rawlsians hope we can make certain revisions to find principles of justice for a society like ours. Finally, I sketch what seems to me a plausible way for a Rawlsian to begin thinking about how a society like ours should provide justice for its disabled citizens.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Scott DeShong Ability, Disability, and the Question of Philosophy
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This essay treats the field of philosophy and the study of disability such that each may be conceived of in terms of the other, perhaps to the extent that they may be thought of as one. First, it examines the bases and methods of various documents in the study of disability, finding that such study may be conceived of as essentially philosophical, even as the philosophical nature of disability studies threatens such studies’ practice. Then philosophy is depicted as that discourse which necessarily interrogates its bases and methods -that is, as discourse that engages its own ability. The two fields are presented as exemplary of the interrogation of ability, particularly of discursive ability. The essay’s primary influence is Emmanuel Levinas, mainly for the emphasis he places on the nature of language in his approach to philosophical critique. Developing the notion of im/possibility -the simultaneous emergence of a discourse’s conditions of possibility with those of its impossibility -the essay focuses on “dis/ability” as the central notion in the convergence of philosophy and disability studies.
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Susan Gately, Christy Hammer A Textual Deconstruction of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Utilitarian, Mechanistic, and Static Constructions of Disability in Society and in Schools
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The extremely well-known holiday television special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is deconstructed to expose an underlying philosophical paradigm towards people, especially children, with disabilities that is mechanistic and utilitarian. This paradigm includes a static and over-determined view of any disability a person may have, and can be erroneously supported by a philosophy of “radical freedom.” Examples of this philosophy of disability as applied to the K-12 realm of special education are also provided, showing how the lessons learned from the children’s movie are mirrored in the static conceptualization of the notion of disability in the general society and educational system.
8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Serene Khader Cognitive Disability, Capabilities, and Justice
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I argue that capabilities approaches are useful in formulating a political theory that takes seriously the needs of persons with severe cognitive disabilities (PSCD). I establish three adequacy criteria for theories of justice that take seriously the needs of PSCD: A) understanding PSCD as oppressed, B) positing a single standard of what is owed to PSCD abled individuals, and C) concern with flourishing as well as political liberty. I claim that conceiving valued capabilities as the end of social distribution may help a political theory to meet these criteria.I posit three further adequacy criteria: D) refusing to see PSCD as less than human, E) valuing moral powers other than practical reason, and F) securing space for care and dependency relationships. I show that how well Elizabeth Anderson and Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approaches meet these criteria depends on their divergent conceptions of what capabilities are for. I sketch another capabilities approach that might better meet the three latter criteria (inspired by Lawrence Becker and Eva Kittay’s work), that conceives capabilities as for agency and relationship.
9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Lavonna Lovern Native American Worldview and the Discourse on Disability
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This paper argues that discussions of disability must include the same diversity in worldview as is reflected in the client population. Speaking from the perspective of Native American ontology and epistemology, the author argues that those who are considered by the dominant society as disabled might well find themselves subjugated and oppressed by that definition. The differences between a Native American worldview and that of the dominant culture is addressed. The case is made that if diversity in worldview and voice is not honored, disability-based oppression is replicated and reinforced.
10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Diane Wiener Benny & Joon’s “Alternative Philosophies” of Emotional (Dis)ability, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
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book reviews
11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Michael Corrado Review of Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership, by Martha Craven Nussbaum
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12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton Review of The Greek Pursuit of Knowledge, ed. Jacques Brunschwig, E.R. Geoffrey, trans. Catherine Porter
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13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Neal DeRoo Review of Jacques Derrida: Opening Lines, by Marian Hobson
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14. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Malek K. Khazaee Review of Mathematics in Kant’s Critical Philosophy: Reflections on Mathematical Practice, by Lisa A. Shabel
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15. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Yves Laberge Review of Ethics: Contemporary Readings, ed. H.J. Gensler, E.W. Spurgin, J.C. Swindal
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16. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
L. Sebastian Purcell Review of What White Looks Like: African-American Philosophers on The Whiteness Question, ed. George Yancy
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17. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
L. Sebastian Purcell Review of Counter-Experiences: Reading Jean-Luc Marion, ed. Kevin Hart
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18. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Steven Ross Review of Moral Literacy, by Barbara Herman
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19. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Peter Murphy Review of Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Vols. 1 & 2, by Scott Soames
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20. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Eric Rovie Review of Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, by John Rawls, ed. Samuel Freeman
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