28 Jan
28. Januar 2020

Is Disability Social Kind

While in some areas of medicine, law and applied ethics, a ‘medical model’ of disability is still largely accepted, in disability studies the social nature of disability, the conception of disability as ‘socially constructed’ or ‘relational’ is widespread and seems indisputable. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of 2006 strives for a combination of the two approaches to the concept of ‘disability’ and thus offers a political compromise. Against this backdrop, my first aim in this talk is to challenge the ‘social model’ and debunk it as a hotchpotch of a variety of different – all too often unclear – views on the nature of disability and its demarcation from, say, impairment, handicap, etc. In a second, more constructive part I will specify and defend the position that disability can adequately be conceptualized as a ‘social kind’. I will explore some of the ontological implications of this position, which on the reading I will propose is inspired by Susan Haslanger’s work on the philosophy of gender and race. I argue that while ‘disability’ is a constructed kind it is nevertheless ‘real’. Due to its ontological pluralism my stance allows for an accommodation of variants of both approaches, a ‘medical’ and a ‘social model’, and it presents a viable interpretation of the CRPD.


Prof. Dr. Katja Stoppenbrink, Philosophisches Seminar, Universität Münster


Institut für Philosophie


28. Januar 2020
16:15 Uhr - 18:00 Uhr


Institut für Philosophie
Geb.: 1146
Raum: 1146.003.B313
Im Moore 21
30167 Hannover
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