Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability

Read Shelley’s book, *Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability*! Today, my recent commentary on the book, presented at the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy conference, is up on the Discrimination and Disadvantage blog. Throughout the week, commentaries on the book will be posted, with Shelley’s response to be posted on Thursday. This is a seriously important book, especially for philosophers of disability, bioethicists, and feminist philosophers to read, but also for those interested in Foucault (Shelley is such a careful reader of Foucault, and her work has always helped me understand him better). 

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about the book:

“This book offers many new resources and lines of critique in its role as a feminist-Foucauldian work of philosophy of disability. Shelley meticulously rebuts misreadings and misappropriations of Foucault among feminists, disability theorists, and other thinkers who have so often reinscribed the status quo when it comes to theorizing disability. At the same time, she radicalizes philosophical considerations of topics ranging from the case of Phineas Gage to stem cell research to feminist analyses of epistemic injustice.

In these ways, Shelley sets the scene for philosophy of disability and opens new paths for critical disability studies. Indeed, Shelley deeply attends to the reification, naturalization, and marginalization of disability and disabled people in the various areas in which this creation occurs, including philosophy itself, as I’ve discussed only too briefly, and the ways that its subfields are constructed. Overall, Shelley’s engagement with so many areas of philosophical debate and detailed Foucauldian perspective makes for an impressively wide-ranging text that is unified under a striking portrait of the government of disability in the present and the history of the present moment.”

Read the full commentary.

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