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Encountering Physical Difference: Models of Experience and Dialogue

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dc.contributor.author Etter, William
dc.date.accessioned 2018-08-08T23:09:26Z
dc.date.available 2018-08-08T23:09:26Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.citation Etter, W. (2007). Encountering Physical Difference: Models of Experience and Dialogue. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 2(4).
dc.identifier.issn 1552-9215
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/58283
dc.description.abstract This paper utilizes Hans-Georg Gadamer’s classic philosophical study of the art of interpretation, Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode) (1960), to examine literary critic Leslie Fiedler’s 1996 collection of essays on bioethics and disability, Tyranny of the Normal. Because Fiedler’s primary analytical model centers around the experience of engaging an abjected Other and subsequently revising one’s self-conception based on this experience, it is useful to examine Fiedler’s arguments with respect to Gadamer’s theories of the hermeneutic circle, the historicity of experience, and the dialectical nature of understanding. Viewing these writings through a Gadamerian lens allows us to devise critical readings of the crucial social moment when the nondisabled “normal” individual and the person with a disability meet. Conversely, Gadamer’s text allows us to develop important criticisms of Fiedler’s work centered on the ahistorical and non-dialectical character of Fiedler’s interpretation of nondisabled individuals’ encounters with disability. Juxtaposing these two thinkers allows us to develop philosophical, psychological, and ethical warrants for disability rights activists’ assertions that the lives, medical treatments, media representations, and political destinies of people with disabilities must not be determined by the non-disabled alone.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher University of Hawaii at Manoa -- Center on Disability Studies
dc.relation.ispartofseries vol. 2, no. 4
dc.subject hermeneutics
dc.subject communication
dc.subject experience
dc.title Encountering Physical Difference: Models of Experience and Dialogue
dc.type Research Articles and Essays
dc.type.dcmi Text
Appears in Collections: RDS Volume 2, No. 4


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