Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy

Readers of the blog who followed our Thinking in Action series of blog posts on the above-named conference, held in New York in September 2008, as well as others, might be interested in having a look at the finished papers from that conference. They have now been published in a special issue of the journal Metaphilosophy (which strikes me, at least, as a strange venue). The table of contents is below and from here you can link to the abstracts for each of the papers; for the full versions, you need an individual or institutional subscription, it seems. To see some videoclips from the conference, together with critical commentary, check out the Thinking in Action posts themselves; nearly all of these directly discuss the talks at the conference corresponding to some of the papers listed below. The videos are both closed captioned and have transcripts with them to enhance accessibility.

thanks to shortintro for the blog comment that drew this to our attention.



Published Online: Sep 18 2009 11:37AM
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01609.x

Abstract | References | Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 161K)
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The Disability Studies Program at the University of Washington presents:


A one-day public symposium examining the history and significance of eugenics in Washington, which in 1909 became the second state to enact a forced sterilization law. This event will provide a forum for dialogue about the eugenic past and its current implications.

Friday, October 9, 2009
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
UW Tower Auditorium, 4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle, Washington 98195

Registration is required. This event is free and open to the public.
Lunch will be provided at no cost to registered attendees.

To register and for further information, go to:
Or contact Tammi Olson, (email), 425-774-4446 (voice), 425-774-9303 (fax), 425-771-7438 (TTY).

For information about symposium content, email Joanne Woiak, UW Disability Studies Program,

To view the live and archived web broadcast of the symposium, go to

The symposium will feature panel presentations by national and local scholars and advocates, addressing “Disability in the History of Eugenics” and “Perspectives on the Relevance of Eugenics Today.” The roundtable format will include ample time for audience discussion. The intended audience includes academics, community advocates, individuals with disabilities, clinicians, service providers, policy makers, and interested members of the general public.

Co-sponsors: UW Office of the Provost, UW Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, Seattle Children’s Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, DBTAC Northwest ADA Information Center.

Human Kinds–The Categories of Sexual Orientation in Law, Science, and Society–Part 3

The wrap-up of Ed Stein’s talk at the Human Kinds symposium.  Here Ed talks a little about whether there are natural human kinds, whether male and female, or gay and straight, might be such kinds, and the relationship between such questions and  issues of gay rights.

Human Kinds–The Categories of Sexual Orientation in Law, Science, and Society–Part 1

The first part of Ed Stein’s talk at the Human Kinds symposium on sexual orientation, especially in equal protection under US jurisprudence.

Did Governor Richardson get it roughly right about sexual orientation, as Ed claims?

Human Kinds–The Categories of Sexual Orientation in Law, Science, and Society–Part 2

Ed Stein’s talk at the Human Kinds symposium, Part the Second. Here Ed focuses on the appeal to immutability in equal protection analysis in American law concerning sexual orientation.

WAS Socrates a hippie? I always thought so …

Human Kinds–Ray Kurzweil and Uploading: Just Say “No”–Q & A

Panel questions for Nick Agar–from Natasha Vita-More on either / or, and Ed Stein on backing up.

If you’re interested in following this debate, you can also check out some of the comments building up directly on the Youtube posting of this right here.

Human Kinds–Ray Kurzweil and Uploading: Just Say “No”–Part 1

Nick Agar‘s talk at the Human Kinds Symposium focuses on Kurzweil on uploading, and gives his ideas a critical combing. Here Nick starts off with some of the basic, background ideas that Kurzweil draws on before getting ready for the view of uploading, in Part 2.

Nick’s Wikipedia page stub is here and his homepage at Victoria, Wellington, is over here.