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Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New Moral Community

Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization, and a New Moral Community

Heather Keith, Kenneth D. Keith

ISBN: 978-0-470-67432-1 May 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 248 Pages


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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
Acknowledgements vii

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

References 177

Name Index 215

Subject Index 225

“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