The Extended Body: On Aging, Disability, and Well-being

Hastings Center Report 48 (supplement S3):S31-S36 (2018)
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Insofar as many older adults fit some definition of disability, disability studies and gerontology would seem to have common interests and goals. However, there has been little discussion between these fields. The aim of this paper is to open up the insights of disability studies as well as philosophy of disability to discussions in gerontology. In doing so, I hope to contribute to thinking about the good life in late life by more critically reflecting upon the meaning of the body, ability, and the variability of each. My central argument is that we should conceptualize age‐associated bodily variations and abilities not in terms of individual capacity, but in terms of what I call “the extended body.” It is in light of the meaning of embodiment and ability in general that we must think differently and more capaciously about the meaning of late life in particular.

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Joel Michael Reynolds
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

The usefulness of well-being temporalism.Gil Hersch - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology:1-15.
The Meaning of Ability and Disability.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2019 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 33 (3):434-447.
Precarity, precariousness, and disability.Eva Feder Kittay - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (3):292-309.

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References found in this work

The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
An Agency‐Based Capability Theory of Justice.Rutger Claassen - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1279-1304.
Ageing, justice and resource allocation.Tom Walker - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (6):348-352.

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