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The Philosophy of Autism

Jami L. Anderson and Simon Cushing

This book examines autism from the tradition of analytic philosophy, working from the premise that Autism Spectrum Disorders raise interesting philosophical questions that need to be and can be addressed in a manner that is clear, jargon-free, and accessible. The goal of the original essays in this book is to provide a philosophically rich analysis of issues raised by autism and to afford dignity and respect to those impacted by autism by placing it at the center of the discussion. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 240Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-1707-2 • Hardback • November 2012 • $87.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-1709-6 • eBook • November 2012 • $82.00 • (£54.95)
Jami L. Anderson is associate professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint. Simon Cushing is associate professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint.
Chapter 1: Autism: The Very Idea
Chapter 2: Embodying Autistic Cognition: Towards Re-conceiving Certain “Autism-Related” Behavioural Atypicalities as Functional
Chapter 3: Autism and the Extreme Male Brain
Chapter 4: I Think, Therefore I Am. I am Verbal, Therefore I Live.
Chapter 5: A Dash of Autism
Chapter 6: Knowing Other Minds: Ethics and Autism
Chapter 7: Autism, Empathy, and Affective Framing
Chapter 8: Advocacy, Autism and Autonomy
As Anderson and Cushing note in their introduction, ‘Despite anecdotal evidence of a link between an interest in philosophy and autism, the amount of philosophical writing directly about autism is scanty indeed’. This terrific volume does much to fill this gap. It includes insightful discussions by philosophers--many with grounding in the neurosciences and some with personal connections to people on the autism ‘spectrum’—of what, exactly, autism is, what are its likely causes, how it is recognized, how it affects those who have it and the people around them, how it can be remediated—and indeed, whether it should be regarded as a ‘disorder’ to be remediated at all. I recommend this volume not only to anyone who is interested in making intellectual (or personal) sense of autism, but also to anyone interested in the broader questions of what it is to be an autonomous agent, the relation of empathy to moral evaluation, and how it is that we acquire knowledge of other minds.
Janet Levin, University of Southern California