As readers of this blog will know, in September there was a relatively large, special topic conference called “Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy”, organized by Eva Kittay and Licia Carlson (and I think Sophia Wong), held in New York City. In some recent comments here, Shelley Tremain has said the following about the roster of speakers for this conference, particularly the inclusion of Peter Singer and Jeff McMahan:
I would like to know when disability theorists, activists, and our allies came to regard it as beneficial, indeed, laudable, to have Peter Singer and Jeff McMahan speak about disabled people, especially cognitively disabled people. … Giving this kind of attention to nondisabled white, male bioethicists whose awful, dominant views about disabled people are in the public domain (and quite familiar to many of us) serves to further marginalize the work of authors in Disability Studies who are attempting to unravel the misunderstandings and prejudices the views of the former entail for concrete human beings; it marginalizes disabled theorists; it marginalizes feminist disability theorists.
The full roster of speakers and respondents reads as follows: Martha Nussbaum, Michael Berube, Leslie Francis, Anita Silvers, Agnieszka Jaworska, Bruce Jennings, Jim Nelson, Hilde Lindemann, Douglas Biklen, James C. Harris, Peter Singer, David Shoemaker, Cynthia Stark, Ian Hacking, Victoria McGeer,
Sophia Wong, Licia Carlson, Anna Stubblefield, Daniel Wikler, Jeffrey P. Brosco, Jonathan Wolff, Henry Richardson, Jeff McMahan, and Eva Kittay.
Again, following Gregor’s heads up, more details about, and podcasts for, the talks from the conference are available here. (Berube’s response is a real beaut, as we say back in the home country, and takes up the sort of issue Shelley is pointing to, though several of the discussions I wanted to listed to I couldn’t download for some reason. Dang.)
What do others think of the issue that Shelley raises? As someone who has debated Singer on more than one occasion, perhaps Gregor has some thoughts here. Links to other, ongoing discussions welcome.