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Albin, Einat. Universalising the Right to Work of Persons with Disabilities: An Equality and Dignity Based Approach
2015, In Virginia Mantavalou (ed.), The Right to Work: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. Bloomsbury
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Added by: Deryn Mair Thomas
Abstract: Rarely do labour law theories draw on disability studies. However, with the growing acceptance that both disability and labour are human rights issues that are concerned with dignity and equality, and that both fields of study tempt to address the social context of disadvantage, an opportunity emerges to bring the two discourses together. In this chapter, I take advantage of this opportunity to discuss the right to work. The interest lies in the new and crucially important direction that Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereafter the CRPD or the Convention) has taken. Article 27, the latest international human rights instrument that has been adopted regarding the right to work, offers what I consider to be an innovative and welcome approach towards this right, while addressing some of the main concerns that were raised in the literature regarding the right to work as adopted in other international human rights documents and implemented in practice.

Comment (from this Blueprint): This text presents several interesting arguments regarding the right to work of persons with disabilities and its relationship with a universal right to work. It can be used, first, to engage students with literature at the intersection of critical disability theory and philosophy of work; and second, to further discuss philosophical questions concerning who should have access to good work and why.

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Alexander, Larry, Hurd, Heidi, Westen, Peter. Consent Does Not Require Communication: A Reply to Dougherty
2016, Law and Philosophy. 35: 655-660.
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Added by: Emma Holmes, David MacDonald, Yichi Zhang, and Samuel Dando-Moore
Abstract: Tom Dougherty argues that consenting, like promising, requires both an appropriate mental attitude and a communication of that attitude.Thus, just as a promise is not a promise unless it is communicated to the promisee, consent is not consent unless it is communicated to the relevant party or parties. And those like us, who believe consent is just the attitude, and that it can exist without its being communicated, are in error. Or so Dougherty argues. We, however, are unpersuaded. We believe Dougherty is right about promises, but wrong about consent. Although each of us gives a slightly different account of the attitude that constitutes consent, we all agree that consent is constituted by that attitude and need not be communicated in order to alter the morality of another’s conduct.

Comment (from this Blueprint): The authors argue that consent is an attitude, rather than an act of communication. They give two examples to support this view where the communication of consent doesn’t occur or goes wrong somehow, but nonetheless (they claim) it is intuitively a consensual interaction.

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Attfield, Robin, Rebekah Humphreys. Justice and Non-Human Animals – Part I
2017, Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 7:(3): 1-11.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: It is widely held that moral obligations to non-human beings do not involve considerations of justice. For such a view, nonhuman interests are always prone to be trumped by human interests. Rawlsian contractarianism comprises an example of such a view. Through analysis of such theories, this essay highlights the problem of reconciling the claim that humans have obligations to non-humans with the claim that our treatment of the latter is not a matter of justice. We argue that if it is granted that the basic interests of non-human beings sometimes count for more than the peripheral interests of humans, then our understandings of obligation and of justice must be aligned, so that what we say about obligation is not countered by assumptions about the invariable priority of humans in matters of justice. We further consider whether such a conclusion can be endorsed by those who adopt certain alternative theories to contractarianism. We conclude that adherents of a range of theories including sentientism and biocentrism must accept that human interests can sometimes be superseded by animal interests, and that this applies not least in matters of justice.

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Attfield, Robin, Rebekah Humphreys. Justice and Non-Human Animals – Part II
2017, Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 8(1): 44-57.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: It is widely held that moral obligations to non-human beings do not involve considerations of justice. For such a view, nonhuman interests are always prone to be trumped by human interests. Rawlsian contractarianism comprises an example of such a view. Through analysis of such theories, this essay highlights the problem of reconciling the claim that humans have obligations to non-humans with the claim that our treatment of the latter is not a matter of justice. We argue that if it is granted that the basic interests of non-human beings sometimes count for more than the peripheral interests of humans, then our understandings of obligation and of justice must be aligned, so that what we say about obligation is not countered by assumptions about the invariable priority of humans in matters of justice. We further consider whether such a conclusion can be endorsed by those who adopt certain alternative theories to contractarianism. We conclude that adherents of a range of theories including sentientism and biocentrism must accept that human interests can sometimes be superseded by animal interests, and that this applies not least in matters of justice.

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Bortolotti, Lisa, John Harris. Disability, Enhancement, and the Harm-Benefit Continuum
2006, In John R. Spencer & Antje Du Bois-Pedain (eds.), Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice. Hart Publishers.
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Added by: Chris Howard
Abstract: Suppose that you are soon to be a parent and you learn that there are some simple measures that you can take to make sure that your child will be healthy. In particular, suppose that by following the doctor’s advice, you can prevent your child from having a disability, you can make your child immune from a number of dangerous diseases and you can even enhance its future intelligence. All that is required for this to happen is that you (or your partner) comply with lifestyle and dietary requirements. Do you and your partner have any moral reasons (or moral obligations) to follow the doctor’s advice? Would it make a difference if, instead of following some simple dietary requirements, you consented to genetic engineering to make sure that your child was free from disabilities, healthy and with above average intelligence? In this paper we develop a framework for dealing with these questions and we suggest some directions the answers might take.

Comment: This paper is an especially good inclusion in any bioethics course that has units on both disability and enhancement, covering issues at the intersection of these topics - indeed, it could be used quite effectively as a "transition paper", bridging a unit on the former topic with a unit on the latter. The piece pairs particularly well with Michael Sandel's, "The Case Against Perfection", and should be suitably accessible to all students, requiring very little philosophical background.

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Cassidy, Lisa. Starving Children in Africa: Who Cares?
2005, Journal of International Women's Studies 7 (1): 84-96.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord
Abstract: The current state of global poverty presents citizens in the Global North with a moral crisis: Do we care? In this essay, I examine two competing moral accounts of why those in the North should or should not give care (in the form of charity) to impoverished peoples in the Global South. Nineteen years ago feminist philosopher Nel Noddings wrote in Caring that 'we are not obliged to care for starving children in Africa' (1986, p. 86). Noddings's work belongs to the arena of care ethics - the feminist philosophical view that morality is about responding to, caring for, and preventing harm to those particular people to whom one has emotional attachments. By contrast, Peter Singer's recent work, One World, advances an impartialist view of morality, which demands that we dispassionately dispense aid to the most needy (2002, p.154). Thus this question needs answering: am I obliged to give care to desperately poor strangers, and if so, which moral framework (Singer's impartialism, or feminism's care ethics) gives the best account of that obligation? I argue that as an American feminist I should care for Africans with whom I will never have a personal relationship. However, this obligation can be generated without relying on the impartialist understanding of morality.

Comment: This text responds to Peter Singer and Ned Noddings on the question of global poverty (though, one need not have read either previously as she provides an overview). It would be useful in a course that focused on questions of economic justice, poverty, care ethics, or charity.

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Chong-Ming Lim. Accommodating Autistics and Treating Autism: Can We Have Both?
2015, Bioethics 29(8), 1-9
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Added by: Björn Freter
Abstract: One of the central claims of the neurodiversity movement is that society should accommodate the needs of autistics, rather than try to treat autism. People have variously tried to reject this accommodation thesis as applicable to all autistics. One instance is Pier Jaarsma and Stellan Welin, who argue that the thesis should apply to some but not all autistics. They do so via separating autistics into high‐ and low‐functioning, on the basis of IQ and social effectiveness or functionings. I reject their grounds for separating autistics. IQ is an irrelevant basis for separating autistics. Charitably rendering it as referring to more general capacities still leaves us mistaken about the roles they play in supporting the accommodation thesis. The appeal to social effectiveness or functionings relies on standards that are inapplicable to autistics, and which risks being deaf to the point of their claims. I then consider if their remaining argument concerning autistic culture may succeed independently of the line they draw. I argue that construing autistics' claims as beginning from culture mistakes their status, and may even detract from their aims. Via my discussion of Jaarsma and Welin, I hope to point to why the more general strategy of separating autistics, in response to the accommodation thesis, does not fully succeed. Finally, I sketch some directions for future discussions, arguing that we should instead shift our attention to consider another set of questions concerning the costs and extent of change required to accommodate all autistics.

Comment: Starting point for adjudicating the disagreements about how to address the justice claims by disability (and disabled) activists more generally. Requires basic knowledge of the disability rights movement in general, and neurodiversity movement in particular.

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Chong-Ming Lim. Vandalizing tainted commemorations
2020, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1-32
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Added by: Björn Freter
Abstract: What should we do about “tainted” public commemorations? Recent events have highlighted the urgency of reaching a consensus on this question. However, existing discussions appear to be dominated by two naïve opposing views – to remove or preserve them. My aims in this essay are two-fold. First, I argue that the two views are not naïve, but undergirded by concerns with securing self-respect and with the character of our engagement with the past. Second, I offer a qualified defence of vandalising tainted commemorations. The defence comprises two parts. I consider two prominent suggestions – to install counter-commemorations and to add contextualising plaques – and argue that they are typically beset with difficulties. I then argue that in some circumstances, constrained vandalism is a response to tainted commemorations which effectively adjudicates the demands of the two opposing views

Comment: Lim’s paper represents one of the best attempts to charitably understand the view of those who support preservation, and furthermore constructively engages with them to the extent where a reasonable yet striking solution is proposed. Encouraged to be read with Lim, C.-M. (2020), “Transforming problematic commemorations through vandalism”, Journal of Global Ethics, 16(3): 414–421, where Lim defends the feasibility of his radical solution.

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Clardy, Justin Leonard. Civic Tenderness as a Response to Child Poverty in America
2019, Nicolás Brando, Gottfried Schweiger (eds.), Philosophy and Child Poverty, Cham: Springer, 303-320
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Justin Leonard Clardy

Abstract: This chapter presents a portrait of American children as situationally vulnerable and introduces the public emotion of civic tenderness as a response to the indifference that is routinely directed toward this vulnerability. Discussions of pro-social empathic emotions typically prioritize emotions like sympathy and compassion. While they are important in their own right, these pro-social emotions are responses to situations of current need. Civic tenderness is a response to situations of vulnerability. Insofar as a person or group is now in a situation of need, they had to have first been vulnerable to experiencing that need. Since vulnerability is conceptually prior to need, civic tenderness is prior to these other pro-social emotions. Through the process that I call tenderization, I explain how tenderness for poor and impoverished children’s vulnerability can be expanded to a society’s members, institutions, and systems.

Comment: The text introduces and situates civic tenderness in a broader discussion of public emotions and social justice.

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Coleman, Elizabeth Burns. Repatriation and the Concept of Inalienable Possession
2010, In The Long Way Home, edited by Paul Turnbull and Michael Pickering: Berghan Books.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes
Summary: The concept of inalienable possession often figures centrally in debates about repatriation of cultural artifacts (which are also often artworks). The right of alienability (or the right to transfer title to property) is one of the core rights in Western property theory. If property is inalienable, this means that title to it cannot rightly be transferred. In this paper, Coleman analyzes the concept of inalienable possession, and argues that laws (such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)) can foist a conception of inalienable possession on indigenous peoples that can be inaccurate to past and changing cultural norms. She uses this point to offer a distinction between property and ownership. This opens up conceptual space for a link between objects and identity through ownership that might nevertheless allow for the alienability of such property.

Comment: This paper is best for a course unit that is making room for in-depth discussion of the property dimensions of cultural property. It would pair well with Janna Thompson's "Art, Property Rights, and the Interests of Humanity," or James O. Young's "Cultures and Cultural Property." It can be also used together with or in lieu of Sarah Harding's much longer and more detailed paper "Justifying Repatriation of Native American Cultural Property."

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Coombe, Rosemary J.. The Properties of Culture and the Politics of Possessing Identity: Native Claims in the Cultural Appropriation Controversy.
1993, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 6(2): 249-285.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes
Abstract: The West has created categories of property, including intellectual property, which divides peoples and things according to the same colonizing discourses of possessive individualism that historically disentitled and disenfranchised Native peoples in North America. These categories are often presented as one or both of neutral and natural, and often racialized. The commodification and removal of land from people’s social relations which inform Western valuations of cultural value and human beings living in communities represents only one particular, partial way of categorizing the world. Legal and cultural manifestations of authorship, culture, and property are contingent upon Enlightenment and Romantic notions built upon a colonial foundation. I will argue that the law rips apart what First Nations peoples view as integrally and relationally joined, but traditional Western understandings of culture, identity, and property are provoked, challenged, and undermined by the concept of Aboriginal Title in a fashion that is both necessary and long overdue.

Comment: In this wide-ranging essay, Coombe situates debates about cultural appropriation in the context of colonial power dynamics. She discusses both appropriation of styles and stories as well as alienation of material cultural property. In particular, she criticizes the appeal to Western conceptions of property in these debates, and questions whether Native identity and autonomy can be appropriately protected by subsuming Native intangible cultural property claims under Western frameworks for intellectual property. This is a long and challenging essay, best used for more advanced courses. Alternative texts that capture some of the ideas here include Loretta Todd's "Notes on Appropriation" (on which Coombe draws), or, for a text that situates some of these ideas in the literature on epistemic injustice, see Erich Hatala Matthes, "Cultural Appropriation without Cultural Essentialism?".

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Cooper, Leonie. Joe Corré, Son of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, On Why He’s Burning His £5 Million Punk Collection
2016, NME, 18th March 2016
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Added by: Quentin Pharr and Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: This week [18th March 2016], Joe Corré, son of punk provocateurs Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood proved that rebellion runs in the family. In response to the ongoing Punk London year of events, gigs, films, talks, exhibits, celebrating 40 years of punk – which Joe claims has been endorsed by the Queen – has announced his plans to burn his £5 million collection of punk memorabilia this November 26, on the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy In The UK’. NME visited Joe at his London HQ to find out more.

Comment (from this Blueprint): This news item is an interview with Joe Corré, son of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols. In response to the 2016 events celebrating '40 years of Punk' in London, Corré announced he would burn his collection of punk artefacts, estimated to be worth £5 million (he did end up burning it on a barge on the Thames). In this interview, Corré discusses how the punk aesthetic has been appropriated by the very people and institutions that the punk movement was against - the establishment. For Corré, his collection is only worth £5 million because of the mainstream appropriation that punk has undergone - for him these items are worthless, they barely even have sentimental value. But equally, Corré, a very wealthy man himself (he co-founded the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur and sold it to private equity for £60 million), has come under fire for his decision to burn the items rather than give them to charity. As such, this piece is an interesting case study that illustrates the mechanics of class appropriation of fashion as discussed by Crane. But it can also be discussed in reference to the People's History Museum virtual exhibition from week 6, as perhaps Corré's judgement that these items are not worthy of preservation and display is itself clouded by class privilege.

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Darby, Derrick. Reparations and Racial Inequality
2010, Philosophy Compass 5 (1): 55-66.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord
Abstract: A recent development in philosophical scholarship on reparations for black chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation is reliance upon social science in normative arguments for reparations. Although there are certainly positive things to be said in favor of an empirically informed normative argument for black reparations, given the depth of empirical disagreement about the causes of persistent racial inequalities, and the ethos of 'post-racial' America, the strongest normative argument for reparations may be one that goes through irrespective of how we ultimately explain the causes of racial inequalities. By illuminating the interplay between normative political philosophy and social scientific explanations of racial inequality in the prevailing corrective justice argument for black reparations, I shall explain why an alternative normative argument, which is not tethered to a particular empirical explanation of racial inequality, may be more appealing.

Comment: This text provides a clear overview and introduction to debates about reparations for decendents of African American slaves. It also surveys quite a bit of empirical data surrounding racial inequalities. It would fit well in a course that considered questions of social justice, racial inequality, or reparations.

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Davis, Alison. Right to life of handicapped
1983, Journal of Medical Ethics 9 (3):181-181.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt
Abstract: This notion of non-personhood denies the right of handicapped people to be recognised as equal human beings in a caring society, and it makes a mockery of the goodwill which seemingly abounded in the International Year of Disabled People. Legislation of the type proposed could well also lead to the de facto decriminalisation of the act of killing a handicapped person of any age, just as it did in Hitler'sGermany.And if it does, woe betide any handicapped people who are too ill to defend their right to life by protesting that they are in fact happy. And woe betide us all, when we get too old to be considered 'useful' and all the friends who could have spoken in our defence have already been oh so lovingly 'allowed to die'.

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Du Bois, W.E.B.. Criteria of Negro Art
1926, The Crisis, 32: 290-297
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Added by: Quentin Pharr and Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: Published in The Crisis of October 1926, DuBois initially spoke these words at a celebration for the recipient of the Twelfth Spingarn Medal, Carter Godwin Woodson. The celebration was part of the NAACP's annual conference and was held in June 1926.

Comment (from this Blueprint): In this selection, Du Bois discusses the nature of aesthetic value, how black artists have been historically excluded from creating it for false and racist reasons, and what role black artists actually have to play in creating beauty. Firstly, he establishes an expansive conception of aesthetic value. Secondly, he sets out various examples of how black artists have been historically excluded from producing art in general and art which portrays "blackness" more specifically. And lastly, he sets out a vision for the arts which not only includes black artists, but also recognizes the aesthetic and political value of their work for creating fair and equal societies where beauty is ever present and sought. It will help readers to understand the costs and wrongs that come with exclusionary practices in the production of aesthetic objects.

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