The Minority Body

The Minority Body : A Theory of Disability

3.95 (82 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.95 (82 ratings by Goodreads)

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Elizabeth Barnes argues compellingly that disability is primarily a social phenomenon-a way of being a minority, a way of facing social oppression, but not a way of being inherently or intrinsically worse off. This is how disability is understood in the Disability Rights and Disability Pride movements; but there is a massive disconnect with the way disability is typically viewed within analytic philosophy. The idea that disability is not inherently bad or
sub-optimal is one that many philosophers treat with open skepticism, and sometimes even with scorn. The goal of this book is to articulate and defend a version of the view of disability that is common in the Disability Rights movement. Elizabeth Barnes argues that to be physically disabled is not to have a
defective body, but simply to have a minority body.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 145 x 216 x 11mm | 274g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0198822413
  • 9780198822417
  • 735,739

Table of contents

1: Constructing Disability
2: Bad-difference/Mere-difference
3: The Value-Neutral Model
4: Taking Their Word for It
5: Causing Disability
6: Disability Pride
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Review quote

I am happy to unequivocally say that this text makes a fascinating and groundbreaking contribution to feminist and disability philosophy. I would enthusiastically recommend this text to anyone interested in disability and philosophy, and especially to those new to philosophy. * Tessa-May Zirnsak, Metapsychology Online Reviews * Elizabeth Barnes' new book offers a much-needed philosophical discussion of disability capitalizing on relevant research in bioethics, feminist philosophy and disability studies. * Elena Fell and Natalia Lukianova, The Philosophical Quarterly * Elizabeth Barnes has written an interesting and important book about disability . . . Barnes has brought a new level of precision to a popular slogan and has then set about defending it with all the familiar tools of contemporary analytic philosophy . . . it remains to be seen where the debate goes next, but wherever it goes, future discussion will need to engage with the work of Elizabeth Barnes. * Jennifer Hawkins, Ethics * It is a thoughtful, thorough, and rigorous argument that nevertheless has an accessible style. It is not a book for a generalist audience, but could work quite readily in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her attempt to moderate a path between the physical body and social constructivism, and to combat a generalized skepticism in the field of philosophy about the possibility that disability might be a good thing for some people, or at least a neutral thing,
that lives of disabled persons are generally as rich, valuable, and worth living as those of nondisabled persons, and that such skepticism is "rooted in-often knee-jerk unreflective-stereotypes about what disabled lives are like" is an unapologetic and strong case for disability positivity. It is a
valuable contribution to disability philosophy in particular, and philosophy in general. * Nancy J. Hirschmann, Hypatia Reviews * The Minority Body is a fascinating and compelling study of the concept of disability. Barnes redefines disability as a social phenomenon in a fresh way. Her revolutionary ideas compel us to look at the minority body without making value-judgments. * The Washington Book Review * In her engaging, powerfully argued, and good-humored book, Barnes seeks to illuminate the nature of physical disability, challenge the view that it has a negative impact on well-being, and defend a mere-difference view of disability . . . it is a wildly creative, rigorous, and ground-breaking work that represents a significant contribution to the on-going inquiry into the nature and value of disability. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that it is the most
important single-authored book in philosophy of disability to come out of the analytic tradition in a generation. * Stephen M. Campbell & Joseph A. Stramondo, Notre Dame Philosophical Review *
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About Elizabeth Barnes

Elizabeth Barnes is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. She works on metaphysics, ethics, and social and feminist philosophy-and is especially interested in the places where these areas overlap.
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Rating details

3.95 out of 5 stars
- 82 ratings
5 30% (25)
4 45% (37)
3 16% (13)
2 6% (5)
1 2% (2)
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