Although decisions regarding quality of life are entirely up to each individual person, non-disabled people tend to interpret the opinions of those who are disabled as being incorrect or invalid. Non-disabled people assume that adaptive preferences have played a role in compromising these outlooks on life as disabled people have “settled” for something less….
Stramondo continuously argued that the choices disabled people make are autonomous and highly reflective of their own well-being, not influenced by these concepts that non-disabled people have created. In this way, his lecture directly pertained to the philosophy department’s ongoing debates and discussions….
Both Stramondo’s lecture and the documentary are prime examples of the philosophy department’s integration of real-world discussion into its curriculum. Having held other lectures in the past, the department leaders are likely to host engaging events in the future, something Puget Sound students can look forward to.
Here is a preview of the lecture: There are several critiques of the application of idea of adaptive preferences to undercut disabled people who claim they have good lives (Amundson, Barnes, and Goering). There are also arguments against physician assisted suicide that seem to use an argumentative structure that is quite similar to the logic of adaptive preferences (such as a disabled person who has a desire to die has really adapted his preferences such that he prefers something that is sub-optimal only because other, better choices are out of reach). This lecture tries to reconcile these positions by finding a way of parsing between uses of the idea of adaptive preferences that are instances of testimonial injustice against disabled people (as Barnes describes it) and those that genuinely describe a phenomenon in which a person’s preference for physician-assisted suicide is distorted in the ‘sour grapes’ sense.
Before Professor Stramondo’s visit, ASUPS Campus Films will screen during this weekend the documentary Far From The Tree, in which Professor Stramondo is profiled amongst other extraordinary individuals. “This life-affirming documentary encourages us to cherish loved ones for all they are, not who they might have been” (91% on Rotten Tomatoes). There will be six screenings of the documentary at Rausch Auditorium in Macintyre Hall on Friday (10/19) 6pm, 9pm; Saturday (10/20) 6pm, 9pm; and Sunday (10/21) 2pm, 6pm.
These events are sponsored by the Philosophy Department; and co-sponsored by the Bioethics Program, the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement (CICE), and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; with additional support from the Offices of Business and Security Services.
Earlier this semester, Western Washington University philosophy professor Neal Tognazzini gave the talk, “Silence and Salience: The Ethics of Being Judgmental.” In an article Anneli Fogt published about the lecture, Fogt recalls:
Roughly 50 students filled a Wyatt Hall classroom one Friday evening to hear him give a lecture called “Silence and Salience: The Ethics of Being Judgmental,” in which he addressed ethical dilemmas relating to judgment. He focused on the crucial link between judgment, moral standing, and relationships.
For example, when a child throws a tantrum in a restaurant, disturbed diners might shoot the parents angry looks or grumble to their friends. Neal explained that whether or not the diners are right that the parents are to blame for the situation, without a relationship to the parents, they don’t have the moral standing to judge them.