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Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Critique of Neurodiversity

At The Journal of Applied Philosophy, Ryan H. Nelson has an article titled "A Critique of the Neurodiversity View."

The abstract:
The neurodiversity view makes both a conceptual and a political claim. Conceptually, the neurodiversity view holds that certain neurocognitive differences currently classified as disorders—autism, most notably—are best understood as forms of diversity. Politically, it holds that, rather than being medicalized and ‘treated’, neurodiversity ought to be respected in the way other human differences—such as differences in race and sexual orientation—are respected. In this article, I challenge the arguments given in support of neurodiversity’s conceptual claim, while defending its political aims of respect, inclusion, and accommodation. Although neurodiversity provides a compelling challenge to the status quo, I conclude that its most prominent arguments fall short of establishing that autism is not a disorder. As I go on to argue, however, the fact that autism is a disorder does not entail that medicalization is the only course. My view is ultimately that social change and medical intervention need not be considered mutually exclusive.