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Response to Singer and Taylor 2/19

ceburdick's picture

One of the things I thought about most while doing the readings for this week was the language that Singer used and the assumptions he made about disabilty and the value/quality of life of people with disabilites. Taylor's chapter helped put words to a lot of what I thought about Singer's piece, especially her points about how Singer only views disability from a medical perspective and how he makes these broad assumptions about disability without really understanding it or getting the perspectives of people with disabilities. I thought it was interesting when Singer said "I think it would be arrogant of me to be saying that's always the case" in response to Taylor's question about whether or not be believes people with disabilites are kidding themselves when they say that disability has positive aspects. Why would he say that that assumption would be arrogant of him to make, but wouldn't say this about about any of the other countless assumptions he makes about disability? Maybe because that assumption is less rooted in the medical model of disability than his assumptions about quality of life are, or maybe because he is simply uncomfortable saying something about the mindsets/identities about people with disabilities. Singer's use of words like normal, miserable, burden, hopelessly disabled, deal with, and crippling also really stuck out to me as examples of his attitudes about disability being inherently bad and really jumped out of me. I wonder if Singer's talks with Taylor and McBryde Johnson have shifted his perspective on disability and the many facets that make up the value of life, and I'd be really interested to hear more about this if anyone knows about things Singer has said, or if his beliefs are so deeply rooted in a medical perspective that he cannot or refuses to see any possible value in disability.