PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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An "Ecological" Model of Disability

This article develops an analysis of disability according to which disabling conditions are not properties of individuals, but features of organisms embedded in specific sets of environments. We begin by presenting three mainstream accounts of disability---the "medical," "social," and "interactionist" models---and argue that all of them ultimately leave us wanting. Next, we introduce an alternative approach, inspired by classic and contemporary discussions in biology, and show how it can be applied to the study of disability. We conclude by drawing some general implications of our account.

Author Information:

Marco Jacob Nathan    
Philosophy
University of Denver

Jeffrey M. Brown    
Philosophy
University of Denver

 

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