Cover of The Journal of Philosophy of Disability
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1. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Table of Contents
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2. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Joel Michael Reynolds, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke Editor’s Introduction
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3. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Thomas Nadelhoffer Chronic Pain, Mere-Differences, and Disability Variantism
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While some philosophers believe disabilities constitute a “bad-difference,” others think they constitute a “mere-difference” (Barnes 2016). On this latter view, while disabilities may create certain hardships, having a disability is not bad in itself. I argue that chronic pain problematizes this disability-neutral view. In doing so, I first survey the literature on chronic pain (§1). Then, I argue that Barnes’s mere-difference view cannot adequately accommodate the lived experiences of many people who suffer from chronic pain (§2). Next, I consider two ways Barnes might respond and I explain why these responses are not workable (§3). Finally, I conclude with a brief discussion of disability variantism, the view that just as some disabilities can be neutral or even positive for some individuals, other disabilities like chronic pain can understandably make some people’s lives miserable not because society has failed them but simply because some conditions can openly conflict with well-being (§4).
4. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Adi Goldiner Understanding “Disability” as a Cluster of Disability Models
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This article puts forth a novel framework for understanding conceptions of disability using six models of disability: the “Social,” “Medical,” “Tragedy,” “Affirmative,” “Minority” and “Universal” models. It analyzes these models as three opposed pairs, each pertaining to a distinct aspect of the multifaceted experience of disability: (1) the cause of disabled people’s social disadvantage and exclusion; (2) the effect of impairment on individuals’ quality of life and well-being; (3) the dichotomy or lack thereof between disabled and nondisabled people. The article argues that although each model is incompatible with its opposed pair, it is compatible with the remaining four models, in the sense that there is no contradiction in holding the views associated with these models at the same time. It therefore concludes that conceptions of disability are best understood as clusters of views on disability that are associated with compatible models.
5. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Adam Cureton Gaming the System?: Justice, Fairness, and Disability Accommodations
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I am legally entitled to certain accommodations for my visual impairment that I do not always need. Affording me these rights is required by justice even on those rare occasions in which they are not necessary to give me an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of society. I sometimes wonder whether I am nonetheless “gaming the system,” “exploiting a loophole,” or otherwise acting unjustly or unfairly by using disability accommodations in such circumstances. The essay aims to explore this apparent paradox by considering whether it is sometimes wrong, as a matter of justice, for disabled people to use accommodations we are justly owed. My conclusion is that, although it is not unjust for disabled people to use accommodations we are entitled to as a matter of justice, an ideally just person would sometimes forgo them for the sake of her commitment to justice itself.
6. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Johnathan Flowers Against Philosophy, Against Disability
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This paper argues that the field of philosophy, and bioethics spe­cifically, engages in a series of speech acts that identify scholarship advocating for increased philosophical engagement with the experiences of disability as “activism.” In doing so, the field of philosophy treats these calls as not worthy of consideration, and therefore, to be ignored in “serious scholarship.” Further, this paper makes clear the ways that philosophy relies upon ableism through what Peter Railton calls the “culture of smartness,” which serves as a form of ableist apologia as defined by Jay Dolmage. The paper concludes by using the example of ADHD to indicate how the prevalence of this “culture of smartness” serves to exclude disabled philosophers within the field.
7. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Ally Peabody Smith How Should (and Shouldn’t) We Think About Profound Intellectual Disability?
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Many accounts of the grounds for human moral standing rely on the possession of higher-order capacities of mind that serve as status-conferring attributes, to the exclusion of those with significant intellectual impairments. Interconnectedly, our relationships with those with profound intellectual disability (PID) remain beneath their potential. Taking as a starting point Peter Singer’s graduated account of moral status, its assumptions about PID, and its implications for what we owe those with PID, I argue that rather than conceptualizing PIDs as severe cognitive deficit, we should characterize them as disabilities marked by the impossibility of successful, mutual linguistic communication. Considering existing relationships between non-PID and PID pairs, I center the potential for atypical forms of communication. I close with the beginnings of a more extensionally adequate grounds for moral status, where moral standing is a product of one’s being able to participate in the shared activity of developing and deepening relationships.
8. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Quill R. Kukla What Counts as a Disease, and Why Does It Matter?
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I argue that the concept of disease serves such radically different strategic purposes for different kinds of stakeholders that coming up with a unified philosophical definition of disease is hopeless. Instead, I defend a radically pluralist, pragmatist account of when it is appropriate to mobilize the concept of disease. I argue that it is appropriate to categorize a condition as a disease when it serves legitimate strategic goals to at least partially medicalize that condition, and when the condition is pathological from inside the epistemology and metaphysics of medicine. While some conditions, like pancreatic cancer, are legitimate diseases from all stakeholders’ points of view and in any context, and while other conditions, like homosexuality, are not diseases from any legitimate point of view, there is a range of interesting, messy cases—including Deafness, autism, pre-hypertension, infertility, and ADHD, for example—whose disease status is irreducibly context-dependent and under contest.
9. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Kevin Timpe Cognitive Disabilities, Forms of Exclusion, and the Ethics of Social Interactions
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Cognitively disabled individuals have been marginalized by our larger culture; they’ve also been marginalized in philosophical discussions. This paper seeks to begin correcting this situation by examining how assumptions which shape our social interactions and expectations disadvantage individuals with a range of cognitive disabilities. After considering Rubella syndrome and autism in detail, I argue that we have a moral obligation to change how we approach social interactions with cognitively disabled individuals.
10. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Frances Bottenberg Epistemic Arrogance, Moral Harm, and Dementia
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When it comes to supporting the well-being of a person living with dementia, remaining sensitive to that person’s interests can be challenging, given the impairments that typically define the condition particularly in its later stages. Epistemic arrogance, an attitude regularly adopted by people not living with dementia towards those who are, further impedes this task. In this case, epistemic arrogance amounts to the assumption that one sufficiently knows or can imagine what it is like to live with dementia to make decisions in matters concerning the care and well-being of someone with dementia, without appropriately consulting their views and preferences. Drawing on three fictional scenarios, I describe common pathways for epistemic arrogance in dementia-support contexts and the ways in which these cause moral harm, linking them to central issues in dementia studies and medical ethics, including person-centered care, the “best interests” principle and the prescriptive reach of advance directives.
11. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
John Vorhaus Profound Disability, Equality and the Boundaries of Inclusion
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The sub-title of a recent book on “belonging” for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) is “Pushing the boundaries of inclusion.” One aim of this paper is to establish where at least one of these boundaries lies. Enabling profoundly disabled people to be together with others is often inspired by the ideal that anybody and everybody can be fully included in their relationships with others. This inclusive ideal can take the form of relational equality—including people with PIMD as equals in our relationships with them. I explore the scope and limits of relational equality, and where, as with some profoundly disabled people, equality is out of reach, I look at two relational alternatives.
book reviews
12. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Mercer Gary Learning from My Daughter: The Value and Care of Disabled Minds
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13. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Elizabeth Dietz Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories we Tell Ourselves
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14. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 2
Rachel Cicoria Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure
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