The Rehabilitation of Realist Accounts of the Ontology of Impairment
Bruijn, R. de
MetadataShow full item record
In this thesis I engage in discussions concerning the ontology of impairment and the ontology of disability. I argue that impairment is a phenomenon of the brute world and that disability is a phenomenon of the social world. More specifically, I defend a neo-Aristotelian realist account of the ontology of impairment – pace social constructivists who reject the notion of impairment and pace the Searlean realist account of the ontology of impairment – and I defend a constrained social constructivist account of the ontology of disability – pace disability as solidarity and pace other unlimited social constructivist accounts. I reach out to Tom Shakespeare, because, although we emphasize different aspects of it, I am convinced that we are working on the same project. My aim is to show that an ontological investigation into impairment and disability which respects the distinction between brute and social reality does not only bring us ontological and conceptual clearness, but also has significance for us, social beings, in our struggles for recognition and justice. My claim is that (atypical) bodily characteristics and related bodily abilities can have multiple and varying significances – some brute, some personal and some social – which should not be conflated.