Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $25.06
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 28%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $25.06   
  • New (9) from $25.06   
  • Used (3) from $27.90   


We have been taught that all humans share intrinsic qualities that lend them a common dignity. Philosophers conceive of a certain level of cognitive capacity as the very mark of humanity, and extend the mantle of equal moral fellowship to these "persons." But what of individuals with diminished cognitive abilities? Cognitive disability poses significant challenges to these fundamental philosophical concepts, prompting a variety of difficult questions. Should those with cognitive disabilities be excluded from the protections and responsibilities we routiñely assign to "persons"? Are we forced to reconsider the very concept of "personhood"? How should the interests of people with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers be represented politically? Who is responsible for guaranteeing their care? and to what extent ought they to be granted autonomy?

Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy addresses these concerns in a series of thought-provoking chapters contributed by some of the most prominent moral philosophers of our time, as well as clinicians and medical historians. Collectively, the chapters represent an important milestone in contemporary thinking about ethical considerations relating to people with cognitive disabilities.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Contemporary moral philosophers, clinicians, and medical historians discuss ethical questions related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and Alzheimer's disease, and look at how cognitive disability forces us to reexamine the concept of personhood." (Book News, September 2010)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405198288
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/16/2010
  • Series: Metaphilosophy Series, #10
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 442
  • Sales rank: 1,029,914
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eva Feder Kittay is Professor of Philosophy, Women's Studies Affiliate, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Bioethics and Compassionate Care at Stony Brook University, New York. Her published works include Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (1998); The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy (co-edited with Linda Martín Alcoff, Blackwell, 2006); The Subject of Care: Feminist Perspectives on Dependency (with Ellen K. Feder, 2003); and Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure (1990). She is also the mother of a cognitively disabled woman.
Licia Carlson
is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Providence College. Her research interests include 20th-century French philosophy, ethics, feminist theory, philosophy and disability, and the philosophy of music. She has published articles on bioethics, feminist theory, disability, and the works of Michel Foucault, and has written a book entitled The Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Editors' Acknowledgments

Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: Rethinking Philosophical Presumptions in Light of Cognitive Disability 1

Part 1: Intellectual Disability: The Medical Model and Beyond Eva Feder Kittay Kittay, Eva Feder

2 The Limits of the Medical Model: Historical Epidemiology of Intellectual Disability in the United States Eva Feder Kittay Kittay, Eva Feder 27

3 Developmental Perspective on the Emergence of Moral Personhood Jeffrey P. Brosco Brosco, Jeffrey P. 55

Part 2: Justice James C. Harris Harris, James C.

4 The Capabilities of People with Cognitive Disabilities James C. Harris Harris, James C. 75

5 Equality, Freedom, and/or Justice for All: A Response to Martha Nussbaum Martha Nussbaum Nussbaum, Martha 97

6 Respecting Human Dignity: Contract Versus Capabilities Michael Berube Berube, Michael 111

7 Duties of Justice to Citizens with Cognitive Disabilities Cynthia A. Stark Stark, Cynthia A. 127

Part 3: Care Sophia Isako Wong Wong, Sophia Isako

8 Cognitive Disability in a Society of Equals Sophia Isako Wong Wong, Sophia Isako 147

9 Holding One Another (Well, Wrongly, Clumsily) in a Time of Dementia Jonathan Wolff Wolff, Jonathan 161

10 Agency and Moral Relationship in Dementia Hilde Lindemann Lindemann, Hilde 171

Part 4: Agency Bruce Jennings Jennings, Bruce

11 Cognitive Disability, Paternalism, and the Global Burden of Disease Bruce Jennings Jennings, Bruce 183

12 Responsibility, Agency, and Cognitive Disability Daniel Wikler Wikler, Daniel 201

13 Alzheimer's Disease and Socially Extended Mentation David Shoemaker Shoemaker, David 225

14 Thinking About the Good: Reconfiguring Liberal Metaphysics (or Not) for People with Cognitive Disabilities James Lindemann Nelson Nelson, James Lindemann 237

Part 5: Speaking About Cognitive Disability Anita Silvers Silvers, Anita

15 How We Have Been Learning to Talk About Autism: A Role for Stories Anita Silvers Silvers, Anita 261

16 The Thought and Talk of Individuals with Autism: Reflections on Ian Hacking Ian Hacking Hacking, Ian 279

17 The Entanglement of Race and Cognitive Dis/ability Victoria Mcgeer Mcgeer, Victoria 293

18 Philosophers of Intellectual Disability: A Taxonomy Anna Stubblefield Stubblefield, Anna 315

Part 6: Personhood Licia Carlson Carlson, Licia

19 Speciesism and Moral Status Licia Carlson Carlson, Licia 331

20 Cognitive Disability and Cognitive Enhancement Peter Singer Singer, Peter 345

21 Caring and Full Moral Standing Redux Jeff Mc'mahan Mc'mahan, Jeff 369

22 The Personal Is Philosophical Is Political: A Philosopher and Mother of a Cognitively Disabled Person Sends Notes from the Battlefield Agnieszka Jaworska Jaworska, Agnieszka 393

Index Eva Feder Kittay Kittay, Eva Feder 414

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)