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21. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Avram Hiller How Does Disability Affect Wellbeing? A Literature Review and Philosophical Analysis
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The question of how disability affects wellbeing has occupied a number of philosophers in recent years. However, this literature has proceeded without a careful examination of the fairly vast empirical research on the topic. In this paper, I review the scholarly literature and discuss some philosophically-relevant aspects of it. On average, those with disabilities have a significantly lower level of wellbeing than those without disabilities. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that this reduction in wellbeing is not due entirely to ableist factors. Hence, I argue that it shows that the Mere Difference View of disability is most likely false. However, the literature indeed shows that disabled people typically live good lives. Thus, despite its rejection of the Mere Difference View, it still upholds a disability-affirmative view. These findings allow for a measured critique of some of Peter Singer’s writings on disability.
22. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Rhea Ienni Access Without the Demand for Explanation: Glissant, Disability, and the Right to Access Opacity
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Within Western approaches to disability, the expectation for disabled people to ‘prove our disability’ is not only central for receiving access supports, but also for being accepted by those around us. Disabled people must make themselves intelligible to the able-bodied world under the threat of not getting one’s needs met, exclusion, and violence. In this paper I argue that Édouard Glissant is important to bring into conversation with issues in disability studies for two reasons: First, Glissant’s account of compulsory transparency illuminates the underlying colonial values that inform the assumption that we need to understand someone’s disability in order to provide access and respect. Second, Glissant’s argument for the right to opacity creates a potential avenue to rethink an approach to access that is not predicated on being fully understood or rendered fully visible by means of reductive, able-bodied categories: the right to access opacity.
23. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Amber Knight Gene Editing Technologies, Utopianism, and Disability Politics
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Scholars have long speculated about what a future affected by gene editing technologies might hold. This article enters current debates over the future of gene editing and the place of disability within it. Specifically, I evaluate contemporary utopian thinking about gene editing found in two different schools of thought: transhumanism and critical disability studies, ultimately judging the latter to be richer and more politically promising than the former. If we take it as our goal to protect and promote future people’s autonomy interests, I argue that current political efforts should be directed toward modifying ableist environments rather than employing genetic technologies to avoid disability or enhance capacity. The article concludes by drawing from disability justice scholarship to make the case that the “right to an open future” should be understood as the “right to an accessible future,” one wherein society is “open” to people with diverse genetic traits and capacities.
24. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
George Estreich Tlön, Uqbar, ChatGPT
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This essay is based on a close reading of two poems written by ChatGPT. One is about preimplantation genetic testing; the other is about Down syndrome. Examining these AI-generated poems along with several human-composed texts, the author—the father of a young woman with Down syndrome—explores a number of related topics, including the difference between human- and machine-written poetry; ableist bias in large language models; the future of people with intellectual disabilities, in a world of machine intelligence; and the value of writing by people with disabilities. The author does not reject the use of ChatGPT or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, but argues that for them to be compatible with human flourishing, we need to consider the way they are sold to us, the need for regulation, and the assumptions they embed.
25. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Licia Carlson Intellectual Disability, Dehumanization, and the Fate of “the Human”
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Dehumanization Studies is a burgeoning field that has much to teach Critical Disability Studies and philosophers of disability. Conversely, a critical disability perspective can inform and challenge theoretical approaches to dehumanization. This paper attempts to forge a conversation between these interdisciplinary areas by exploring the phenomenon of dehumanization in relation to people with intellectual disabilities. It begins with a definition of disability dehumanization, and then explores the ways in which this form of dehumanization functions dynamically at multiple levels, drawing from the history of ID and contemporary examples in moral philosophy. Ultimately it argues that it is essential to recognize the moral relevance of being human in order to challenge and prevent forms of disability dehumanization and de­fends this idea in the face of two objections (speciesism and posthumanism).
26. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Jane Dryden Disability, Teleology, and Human Development in German Idealism: Exploring Disability in the History of Philosophy
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German idealist philosophers Kant and Hegel, who have had a significant influence on contemporary social and political theory, both insist on universal human freedom and dignity. However, they maintain teleological frameworks of human development which depend on distancing free and rational human agency from nature, leaving animality and “savageness” behind for a rational and spiritually developed future. This has implications for their implicit and explicit accounts of disability, which risk being reiterated today: insofar as disability is associated with being a static product of nature, these frameworks situate it at best as that which must be overcome, and at worst as something that bars someone from full humanity. Recognizing and understanding the place of disability within their work is vital if we want to avoid their exclusions in our inherited ideas.
27. The Journal of Philosophy of Disability: Volume > 3
Christine Wieseler Orcid-ID The Import of Critical Phenomenology for Theorizing Disability
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In this paper, I explore the claim that phenomenological accounts grounded in the lived experiences of those most tangibly impacted by social norms related to ability can provide crucial correctives and supplements to the existing philosophical literature on disability. After situating discussions of the body within disability theory and debates over the impairment/disability distinction in philosophy of disability more specifically, I argue that extant models are inadequate for theorizing subjective experiences of living as a disabled person. I then develop an account of the relationship between impairment/disability by drawing upon critical phenomenological approaches to embodiment. In conclusion, I turn to the methodological and metaphilosophical issue of how to conduct ethical inquiry concerning disability. I examine some of the ways that ableist assumptions can inform curiosity, provide examples of disabled people’s accounts of experiencing derivatizing curiosity, and offer suggestions for practices of curiosity that not only avoid epistemic harms, but are actively anti-ableist.