The 2022 Williams F. Lecture, titled “What is Disability For?” by Dr. Joel Michael Reynolds of Georgetown University, will be held Thursday, October 27 at 4:15pm in Convocation Hall 208. Refreshments will be provided, and it is open to the public.
Description: “Disability is an everyday concept, and everyone thinks they have a grasp on what it means. But clearly defining “disability” proves exceptionally difficult. Some claim it’s impossible, for the concept simply isn’t coherent. What if instead of asking how to define the concept of disability, we ask what it is for? I explore a pragmatic theory of disability and argue that such an approach is better suited for the ends of not just disabled people, but everyone from medical professionals to activists to human rights lawyers.”
Joel Reynolds is the author and/or editor of The Life Worth Living: Disability, Pain, and Morality, The Disability Bioethics Reader, and over fifty journal articles, book chapters, and commentaries. Dr. Reynolds regularly speaks with and consults for medical educators across specialties concerning how to improve the quality and equity of care for patients with disabilities. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy as well as in Religious Studies from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Emory University.
William F. Edwards (1926-1999), PhD Columbia University, was the Undergraduate Director of Emory Philosophy Department for more than a decade and a model of an available professor. He worked with Kristeller on Renaissance Philosophy and wrote his dissertation about the Paduan logician Jacopo Zabarella. After his retirement, the department dedicated the yearly William F. Edwards lecture to the undergraduate students to honor his outstanding commitment to undergraduate study. Photo credit: Robert Leib.