Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New Moral Community
March 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New Moral Community presents an interdisciplinary exploration of the roots and evolution of the dehumanization of people with intellectual disabilities.
- Examines the roots of disability ethics from a psychological, philosophical, and educational perspective
- Presents a coherent, sustained moral perspective in examining the historical dehumanization of people with diminished cognitive abilities
- Includes a series of narratives and case descriptions to illustrate arguments
- Reveals the importance of an interdisciplinary understanding of the social construction of intellectual disability
Prologue:Why Study Disability? ix
Part I The Roots of Dehumanization 1
1 Intellectual Disability: History and Evolution of Definitions 3
2 The Social Construction of Purgatory: Ideas and Institutions 19
3 A Failure of Intelligence 37
4 The Consequences of Reason: Moral Philosophy and Intelligence 53
Part II Out of the Darkness 77
5 Defining the Person: The Moral and Social Consequences of Philosophies of Selfhood 79
6 Alternative Views of Moral Engagement: Relationality and Rationality 95
7 Culture and Intellectual Disability 116
Part III Disability Ethics for a New Age 131
8 Quality of Life and Perception of Self 133
9 Application and Best Practices: Rights, Education, and Ethics 151
10 Epilogue: Visions of the Future 170
Name Index 215
Subject Index 225
Heather E. Keith is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Green Mountain College, Vermont. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, The Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Streams of William James, and the Encyclopedia of American Philosophy.
Kenneth D. Keith is Professor Emeritus of Psychological Sciences at the University of San Diego. The author, co-author, or editor of more than 100 scientific and professional publications including The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Keith is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in the divisions on teaching and on international psychology, and a Fellow of the Western Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
“The best use of this valuable contribution may be to disseminate it to the decision makers, legislators, and health care providers and, most importantly, to the educators and trainers who can extract the gems from this treasure chest to increase the wealth of knowledge and improve the awareness of direct workers, families, medical/behavioral health students, and community members about people with intellectual disabilities. In addition, this book could be used to correct a significant concern regarding the professionals who provide services to this population.” (PsycCRITIQUES, 28 April 2014)
“This well-thought-out reference is grounded in thorough research with an engaging narrative. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.” (Choice, 1 March 2014)
"It is entirely refreshing to read about intellectual disability from a philosophical and social perspective. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in intellectual disability (be it clinical, academic or personal). It is a useful piece of literature that will aid anyone involved in this field to more readily appreciate the social, moral and historical context of intellectual disability, while providing a useful framework to consider for the future." The International Journal of Developmental Disabilities
One of the greatest challenges facing the field of intellectual
disability in today’s transformational era is that we will
forget from where we have come. The inclusion of people with
intellectual disability into the mainstream of life is based on the
principles of inclusion, empowerment, equity, and
self-determination. This well-written and conceptually solid
book contributes significantly to both our understanding of
the past attitudes towards people who are now coming out of the
darkness, and the ethical and moral challenges we continue to face
to enhance their quality of life.
—Bob Schalock, Professor Emeritus, Hastings College.
Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New
Moral Community is a welcome piece of scholarship that draws on
philosophy and several other fields to provide a thoughtful account
of what shapes our thinking about intellectual disability. Filled
with stories and historical facts presented in a highly interesting
way, all from a captivating assortment of approaches, this book is
hard to set down.
—Professor Ivan Brown, Centre for Disability Studies, Brock University, Canada and Associate Director, IASSIDD Academy for Teaching, Learning, and Research.
Marshaling a broad command of the relevant literature from
psychology and philosophy, the authors open new vistas of
understanding on a subject of great importance for the future of
human society. They succeed in bringing moral issues
concerned with intellectual disability from the margins of
understanding to a bright new sympathetic intelligibility.
—Larry A. Hickman, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
This concise and thoughtful book skillfully guides the reader to
consider recent changes for good in the lives of many people with
intellectual disabilities. A rich trove of published
references spanning many disciplines will gladden the hearts of
many scholars. This book invites us to shape, to seize and to
benefit from the changes yet in store.
—Patricia Noonan Walsh PhD, Professor Emerita of Disability Studies, University College Dublin.