Courses Designed to
Meet General Education Requirements
Identity/US Cultures Studies
LAW, SOCIETY, DIFFERENCE
Dr. Anita Silvers -- Dept. of Philosophy
San Francisco State University
Note from the Author: This upper-division
course is designed to fit into a sequence
of philosophy courses on law and social
philosophy. Courses in this sequence
are suitable for elective credit for
the philosophy major. But they are mainly
taken for general education credit by
students in a variety of majors. This
course complies with the upper division
requirement for a course that illuminates
the situations of members of nondominant
groups - racial and ethnic minorities,
women, people with disabilities, gays
and lesbians, the aged, the poor. It
is called a Cultural, Social and Ethnic
The cases we discuss vary from semester
to semester. The press is full of them.
So are the e-mail lists I subscribe
to. These latter alert me to which disability
groups respond most vociferously to
each issue that turns up in the press,
so I can be sure to include a variety
of cases that highlight concerns of
people with different kinds of disabilities.
It is important as well to understand
that the course brings together students
with somewhat different interests in
disability. There are students with
disabilities, students whose family
members are disabled or aging noticeably,
students who have family histories pre-disposing
them to disability, students who are
majoring in fields concerned with disability,
students headed for law school, and
then the general run of student looking
for a philosophy or a general education
course that fits her schedule.
My objective is to prepare these students
to acknowledge and conceptualize disability,
whether their own or others'.
Anita Silvers email@example.com
PHILOSOPHY 340 LAW, SOCIETY, DIFFERENCE
Some philosophies of release from group-based
oppression call for assimilation; others
for diversity. This course explores
the moral, social, legal and phenomenological
correlates of diversi ty, focusing on
disability and the "double differences"
at the intersects with race and gender.
1. Competing Paradigms of Liberation
2. Competing Theories of Justice
3. Equality and Difference
4. Sex, Gender and the Social Construction
of the Body (Theory of Embodiment)
5. Biological Determinism and the Social
Construction of Race
6. The Medical Model of Disability
- The World Health Organiza tion Definitions
7. The Social Model of Disability -
The Influence of Foucault
8. Disability Rights: Entitlements
and Exemptions (S.S.D.I., I.D.E.A.,
The Rehab Act)
9. Disability Rights: Enhancing Capabilities
(Distributive Jus tice - John Rawls
vs. Amartya Sen)
10. Disability Rights: Protection Against
Discrimination (The Americans With Disabilities
Act, The U.K. Disability Discrimina
11. Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination:
Protections Against Race-Based and Sex-based
12. W.E.B. DuBois, Racism and The Double-Consciousness
13. Moral Phenomenology and the Experience
14. Right To Life, Right To Die and
Quality of Life Assessments
15. Personal Identity and Minority
READING (Required Reading Marked by
* Case Studies Reader supplied by the
*Amundson, Ron. 1992. "Disability,
Handicap, and the Environ ment"
Journal of Social Philosophy 23 (1)
Asch, Adrienne. 1986. "Real Moral
Dilemmas", Christianity and Crisis,
46, no. 10 (July 14, 1986)
Asch, Adrienne and Michelle Fine. 1988
"Beyond pedestals". In Excerpts
from Fine, Michelle and Adrienne Asch,
eds. 1988. Women with disabilities:
Essays in psychology, culture and politics.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
*Bartky, Sandra Lee. 1990. "Psychological
Oppression" from Femi ninity and
Domination. London: Routledge.
*Excerpts from Baynton, Douglas. 1997
Forbidden Signs: American Culture and
the Campaign Against Sign Language.
Chicago: Univers ity of Chicago Press.
Excerpts from Bickenbach, Jerome. 1993.
Physical Disability and Social Policy.
University of Toronto Press. Toronto
Excerpts from Bordo, Susan. 1993. Unbearable
Weight. Berkeley: University of California
Buchanan, Allen. 1996. "Choosing
Who Will Be Disabled: Genetic Intervention
and the Morality of Inclusion"
in Social Philosophy and Policy. Vol.
13, No. 2 (Spring 1996)
Excerpts from Davis, Lennard. 1995.
Enforcing Normalcy New York: St. Martins).
*Excerpts from Du Bois, W.E.B. "The
Souls of Black Folks" in Three
Negro Classics. Avon Books.
Excerpts from Fanon, Frantz. 1967.
Black Skins, White Masks. New York:
Grove Press. Foucault, Michel. 1995.
"Madness, the Absence of Work"
in Criti cal Inquiry, Vol. 21, No. 2,
Winter 1995. *Frye, Marilyn. 1983. "Oppression"
from The Politics of Reality: Essays
In Feminist Theory. Freedom, CA: The
Galler, Roberta. 1984. The myth of
the perfect body. in Carole Vance, ed.
Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female
Sexuality. Hammersmith, England: Pandora
*Hahn, Harlan. 1987. "Civil Rights
for Disabled Americans: The Foundation
of a Political Agenda" in Images
of the Disabled, Disabling Images, ed.
by Gartner, Alan and Tom Joe. Praeger.
Kent, Deborah. 1977. "In Search
of Liberation" in Disabled USA
*Excerpts from Leal-Idrogo, Anita,
Judith Gonzales-Calvo, and Vickie Krenz
(eds.), Multicultural Women: Health,
Disability, and Rehabilitation. Dubuque:
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.
Lott, Tommy. 1992. "Du Bois on
the Invention of Race" in Philo
sophical Forum, Vol XXIV, Nos. 1-3,
Miles, M. 1996. "Community, Individual
or Information Develop ment? Dilemmas
of Concept and Culture in South Asian
Disability Planning. "Disability
& Society Vol. 11 (4), pp. 485-500.
*Excerpts from Minow, Martha. 1990.
Making All the Difference: Inclusion,
Exclusion and American Law. Cornell
University Press. Ithaca and London.
*Excerpts from Morris, Jenny. 1991.
Pride Against Prejudice. Philadelphia:
New Society Publishers.
Excerpts from Ruffino, Norma Carr.
*Sen, Amartya. 1984. "Rights and
Capabilities" in Resources, Values
and Development, Oxford: Basil Blackwell
*Silvers, Anita. 1994. 'Defective'
agents: equality, difference and the
tyranny of the normal. The Journal of
Social Philosophy's twenty-fifth anniversary
issue, June. * 1995a. Reconciling equality
to difference: caring (f)or justice
for people with disabilities. Hypatia,
Special Issue on Feminist Ethics and
Social Policy, edited by Patrice DiQuinzo
and Iris Marion Young, Winter 1995,
Vol. 10 1995b. "Damaged Goods:
Does Disability DisQALYfy People From
Just Health Care?" in The Mount
Sinai Journal of Medicine, Vol. 62,
No. 2, pp. 102-111, 1995 * 199-, "Women
and Disability" in The Blackwell's
Companion To Feminist Philosophy, Oxford:
Basil Blackwell Ltd. 199-_, *"How
Can Women With Disabilities Be Feminists?"
in Feminist Approaches To Bioethics,
ed. by Anne Donchin and Laura Purdy,
New York: ROwman and Littlefield * 199_,
"Disability Rights", in The
Encyclopaedia of Applied Ethics, edited
by Ruth Chadwick. London: Academia Press
* 199_, "Genetic Intervention and
the Compulsion to Normalize: Allocating
Resources To Restore 'Species-Typical'
Functioning" Wendell, Susan 1989.
Hypatia, Vol. 4, No. 2, Summer "Toward
A Feminist Theory of Disability"
* 1996. Excerpts from The Rejected Body:
Feminist Philosophical Reflections On
Disability. London: Routledge.
*Excerpts from Williams, Patricia.
1991 The Alchemy of Race and Rights
Cambridge: Harvard University Press
*Excerpts from Young, Iris Marion.
1990 a. Justice and the Polit ics of
Difference. Princeton: Princeton University
Press. 1990 b. Throwing Like A Girl
and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy
and Social Theory. Bloomington: Indiana
University Press. 1997 "Assymetrical
Reciprocity: On Moral Respect, Wonder,
and Enlarged Thought" Constellations
Vol. 3, No. 3, 1997, pp. 341 - 363.
I will provide you with copies of those
of my essays which have not yet appeared
in print. These are the essay whose
publication date is marked as "199_".
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Participation
in break-out Case Study Discussion Groups,
two short papers based on Case Study
Discus sion Groups, and a ten to fifteen
page final paper.
GRADING: A through F and Cr/NCr.