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Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy / Edition 1

Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy / Edition 1

by Eva Feder Kittay, Licia Carlson


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We have been taught that all humans share intrinsic qualities that lend them a common dignity. Philosophers conceive of a certain level of cognitive capacity as the very mark of humanity, and extend the mantle of equal moral fellowship to these "persons." But what of individuals with diminished cognitive abilities? Cognitive disability poses significant challenges to these fundamental philosophical concepts, prompting a variety of difficult questions. Should those with cognitive disabilities be excluded from the protections and responsibilities we routiñely assign to "persons"? Are we forced to reconsider the very concept of "personhood"? How should the interests of people with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers be represented politically? Who is responsible for guaranteeing their care? and to what extent ought they to be granted autonomy?

Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy addresses these concerns in a series of thought-provoking chapters contributed by some of the most prominent moral philosophers of our time, as well as clinicians and medical historians. Collectively, the chapters represent an important milestone in contemporary thinking about ethical considerations relating to people with cognitive disabilities.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405198288
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 06/16/2010
Series: Metaphilosophy Series , #10
Pages: 442
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Eva Feder Kittay is Professor of Philosophy, Women's Studies Affiliate, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Bioethics and Compassionate Care at Stony Brook University, New York. Her published works include Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (1998); The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy (co-edited with Linda Martín Alcoff, Blackwell, 2006); The Subject of Care: Feminist Perspectives on Dependency (with Ellen K. Feder, 2003); and Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure (1990). She is also the mother of a cognitively disabled woman.
Licia Carlson
is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Providence College. Her research interests include 20th-century French philosophy, ethics, feminist theory, philosophy and disability, and the philosophy of music. She has published articles on bioethics, feminist theory, disability, and the works of Michel Foucault, and has written a book entitled The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Acknowledgments viii

Notes on Contributors x

1 Introduction: Rethinking Philosophical Presumptions in Light of Cognitive Disability Licia Carlson Eva Feder Kittay 1

Part 1 Intellectual Disability: The Medical Model and Beyond

2 The Limits of the Medical Model: Historical Epidemiology of Intellectual Disability in the United States Jeffrey P. Brosco 27

3 Developmental Perspective on the Emergence of Moral Personhood James C. Harris 55

Part 2 Justice

4 The Capabilities of People with Cognitive Disabilities Martha Nussbaum 75

5 Equality, Freedom, and/or Justice for All: A Response Martha Nussbaum Michael Bérubé 97

6 Respecting Human Dignity: Contract Versus Capabilities Cynthia A. Stark 111

7 Duties of Justice to Citizens with Cognitive Disabilities Sophia Isako Wong 127

Part 3 Care

8 Cognitive Disability in a Society of Equals Jonathan Wolff 147

9 Holding One Another (Well, Wrongly, Clumsily) in a Time of Dementia Hilde Lindemann 161

10 Agency and Moral Relationship in Dementia Bruce Jennings 171

Part 4 Agency

11 Cognitive Disability, Paternalism, and the Global Burden of Disease Daniel Wikler 183

12 Responsibility, Agency, and Cognitive Disability David Shoemaker 201

13 Alzheimer's Disease and Socially Extended Mentation James Lindemann Nelson 225

14 Thinking About the Good: Reconfiguring Liberal Metaphysics (or Not) for People with Cognitive Disabilities Leslie P. Francis Anita Silvers 237

Part 5 Speaking About Cognitive Disability

15 How We Have Been Learning to Talk About Autism: A Role for Stories Ian Hacking 261

16 The Thought and Talk of Individuals with Autism: Reflections on Ian Hacking Victoria McGeer 279

17 The Entanglement of Race and Cognitive Dis/ability Anna Stubblefield 293

18 Philosophers of Intellectual Disability: A Taxonomy Licia Carlson 315

Part 6 Personhood

19 Speciesism and Moral Status Peter Singer 331

20 Cognitive Disability and Cognitive Enhancement Jeff McMahan 345

21 Caring and Full Moral Standing Redux Agnieszka Jaworska 369

22 The Personal Is Philosophical Is Political: A Philosopher and Mother of a Cognitively Disabled Person Sends Notes from the Battlefield Eva Feder Kittay 393

Index 414

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Contemporary moral philosophers, clinicians, and medical historians discuss ethical questions related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and Alzheimer's disease, and look at how cognitive disability forces us to reexamine the concept of personhood." (Book News, September 2010)

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