BA, History and Economics, Dartmouth College
JD, Yale Law School
MA, Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Self-Deception, Ambivalence, Psychoanalysis, Skepticism, Social and Political Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy and the Arts, Disability
PHIL 29200-02/29300-02 Junior/Senior Tutorial
Topic: The Meaning of Disability
What is disability? In what sense is disability a marker of human difference and in what sense is it a marker of misfortune? What is it to live well with disability in our care for ourselves and our care for one another? Aristotle offers, in his ethics, perhaps the richest framework we have for thinking about these questions. Yet his account of human flourishing is in apparent tension with much of contemporary thought about disability. This course will grapple with our Aristotelian inheritance around disability. What can Aristotle help us see clearly about disability? What modifications to his account are needed—or should we throw out his thinking altogether? The course will proceed in four parts. We will start by trying to get clear on Aristotle’s thinking about what it is for things to go well (or not) in a human life, and what this thinking means for traits we call disabilities. Next we will examine contemporary critiques of traditional approaches to disability, broadly from a disability rights perspective, drawing not just on academic writing but also on memoir and documentary film. We will then bring these two strands together by exploring neo-Aristotelian efforts to harmonize a Aristotelian spirit with contemporary commitments around disability. Finally, we will turn our attention to mourning and ask how it might matter in living well in our experiences with disability. Throughout, special attention will be given to intellectual and developmental disability.
Meets with Jr/Sr section. Open only to intensive-track and philosophy majors. No more than two tutorials may be used to meet program requirements.