Volume 96, Issue 1, January 2019
Scholarship and Stewardship
Moral Ecology, Disabilities, and Human Agency
This paper argues that human agency is not simply a function of intrinsic properties about the agent, but that agency instead depends on the ecology that the agent is in. In particular, the paper examines ways that disabilities affect agency and shows how, by paying deliberate attention to structuring the social environment around people with disabilities, we can mitigate some of the agential impact of those disabilities. The paper then argues that the impact of one’s social environment on agency isn’t restricted only to those agents that have disabilities, but also characterizes all human agency. All of our agency is environmentally dependent.