Philosophy TV Managing Editors

David Killoren (Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University)

Jonathan Lang (Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Elizabeth Barnes and Joseph Stramondo

Elizabeth Barnes and Joseph Stramondo on disability.

Philosophers have traditionally argued (or simply assumed) that disability must have a net negative effect on well-being—and not just because of contingent social facts, but also in virtue of the inherent nature of disability itself. This view is markedly less prevalent outside of philosophy departments, and is not widely shared by disabled persons themselves. Stramondo and Barnes begin their conversation by discussing why philosophers’ views of disability have drifted away from the views of non-philosophers (3:19). They discuss whether philosophers suffer from a “lack of moral imagination” with respect to disability (9:10), and provide personal reflections on their own experiences with disability (19:03). Then they consider the meaning and significance of “disability pride” (35:37). Finally, they discuss a few examples of the ways in which disability can actually enhance one’s life (53:08).

Related works

by Barnes:
The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability (2016)
“Valuing Disability, Causing Disability” (2014)
“Confessions of a Bitter Cripple” (guest post at Philosop-Her)
“Disability, Minority, and Difference” (2009)

by Stramondo:
“Why Bioethics Needs a Disability Moral Psychology” (2016)
Disabling Bioethics: The Case for a Disability Moral Psychology and Epistemology for Bioethics (2014)
“How an Ideology of Pity Is a Social Harm to People with Disabilities” (2010)