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Difference, Disability, and a Biological Basis for Social Justice

Anita Silvers is Secretary/Treasurer of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association and a member of the APA’s Board of Officers
When Jul 26, 2007
from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Where 108 Wartik Lab
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Visiting Speaker 2007

Anita Silvers

Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair, San Francisco State University

 

Anita Silvers is Secretary/Treasurer of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association and a member of the APA’s Board of Officers. Her current “traditional philosophical” focus foregrounds inclusion of, and full social participation by, “outliers” in philosophical treatments of justice; this is the subject of the article “Justice Through Trust” (Ethics, Oct. 2005). In applied philosophy, she is writing on disability and distributive justice, and on genetic and prosthetic enhancement in medicine. Silvers is the co-author ofDisability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) and co-editor of many volumes in bioethics and in aesthetics. In bioethics, She has authored nearly 150 articles and chapters in books, encyclopedias, philosophy journals, law reviews, and medical journals. She has just joined the editorial board of the new journal Neuroethics.

Difference, Disability, and a Biological Basis for Social Justice

Biological differences such as those occasioned by color, sex, genetic or chromosomal anomalies, infection, or trauma have been associated with social disadvantage and sometimes are invoked to justify inferior treatment of individuals or groups. Even where such biologically delineated disregard or discrimination seems clearly unfair, however, little agreement exists about how justice for victims should be secured. This talk reviews the ways traditional theories of justice approach the problem of biological differences and proposes an alternative: illuminating justice through an expanding science of biological diversity.

 

A FEAST project made possible by the generous support of the Rock Ethics Institute,
College of the Liberal Arts, and APA Board of Officers