The Faces of Intellectual Disability
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The Faces of Intellectual Disability : Philosophical Reflections

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In a challenge to current thinking about cognitive impairment, this book explores what it means to treat people with intellectual disabilities in an ethical manner. Reassessing philosophical views of intellectual disability, Licia Carlson shows how we can affirm the dignity and worth of intellectually disabled people first by ending comparisons to nonhuman animals and then by confronting our fears and discomforts. Carlson presents the complex history of ideas about cognitive disability, the treatment of intellectually disabled people, and social and cultural reactions to them. Sensitive and clearly argued, this book offers new insights on recent trends in disability studies and philosophy.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 286 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 521.63g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253221579
  • 9780253221575
  • 625,717

Review quote

"Carlson's book is a significant addition to the welcome burgeoning of philosophical literature about disability generally and intellectual disability specifically." -Social Theory and Practice "Licia Carlson's The Faces of Intellecual Disability breaks new ground in disability studies, bioethics, philosophy, cultural sudies, and social justice studies generally." -Disability Studies Quarterly "[P]rovides a rigorous philosophical analysis of how the outsider's viewpoint of ID in particular (generalizable to disability as a whole) will blind, cripple, and even retard (puns intended!) theological work, and that only historical illumination and serious interaction with the perspectives of those with ID or their caretakers can help do justice to the issues at hand." -Journal of Religion, Disability & Health "Carlson provides a valuable, in-depth exploration of the philosophical and moral underpinnings of understanding of persons with intellectual disabilities.... This will be vital resource in a variety of disciplines.... Highly recommended." -Choice "The Faces of Intellectual Disability illuminates exquisitely the epistemological and normative commitments and implications of various philosophical accounts. As such, it is a valuable addition to the philosophical literature on intellectual disability." -Teachers College Record "A bold, critical intervention into the domains of disability studies, philosophy, and bioethics." -Lisa Diedrich, Stony Brook University "Through her linguistic skill, Carlson renders complex ideas ascertainable.... [This] project is a sound and worthy foundation on which to build a more complete analysis in this growing area of scholarship." -H-Disability "Will have a significant impact on philosophical bioethics." -Hilde Lindemann, Michigan State University Carlson (philosophy, Providence College) provides a valuable, in-depth exploration of the philosophical and moral underpinnings of understanding of persons with intellectual disabilities. She surveys historical perspectives over time, looking at how people with intellectual disabilities became increasingly marginalized in society and at how perception of this segment of society as 'other' resulted in the creation of the asylum and later the institution for the 'feeble-minded.' Within the confines of these institutions, residents were often treated as 'pets,' a conceit that is evident in current ethics discourse and debates surrounding animal rights and speciesism. Using the deconstructionist analysis pioneered by Michel Foucault, Carlson provides effective countervailing arguments against such ethicists as Peter Singer, who assume an equivalence between severely cognitively impaired infants and nonhuman animals, using potentialities as the criterion. Carlson argues that the complexities of human nature should be acknowledged and accepted within the social community. The book is a bit pedantic, but Carlson's logic is impeccable. This will be vital resource in a variety of disciplines. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. -- ChoiceD. J. Winchester, Yeshiva University, August 2010show more

About Licia Carlson

Licia Carlson has written numerous articles on philosophy and disability and is the co-editor of Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. She is an assistant professor of philosophy at Providence College.show more

Table of contents

A Note on TerminologyIntroduction: The Philosopher's NightmarePart 1. The Institutional World of Intellectual Disability 1. Twin Brothers: The "Idiot" and the Institution 2. Gendered Objects, Gendered Subjects 3. Analytic InterludePart 2. The Philosophical World of Intellectual Disability 4. The Face of Authority 5. The Face of the Beast 6. The Face of SufferingConclusion: The Face of the MirrorNotesSelected BibliographyIndexshow more

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