Philosophy and other aids — Scope | Disability forum
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Philosophy and other aids

Jaybird Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi there.

My name's Jay, I'm 27 years old and I suffer heavily from BPD, fibromyalgia and ME. I want to ask: are there any philosophers that have inspired you to find quality of life as a disabled person, or comforted you in any way?

All edges of the philosophical spectrum welcome. 


  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2021
    Hello and welcome @Jaybird How are you today?

    What an interesting question you pose!  I have to admit, my knowledge of philosophy is minimal at best but during my time at university I was introduced to the work of Foucault and instantly loved it.  His work around how power regimes keep us self-policing our behaviour in line with the norm opened my mind.  In-fact, my favourite essay was one based upon Discipline and Punish!  

    I'd love to know more about your philosophical preferences.  Who inspires you and how?
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  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    I find an eclectic mix of Buddhism, stoicism and Catholicism helps me a lot. ?
    buddhism and stoicism help a lot with everyday life, Catholicism is fascinating as well from a spiritual point of view. It’s probably just me ...

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Scope Member Posts: 183 Pioneering
    I don't have a specific philosophical preference but I find within my online friendship circle lots of "inspirational" memes and quote often come up sometimes on days I really need them, if so or if they speak to me or I think they are going to help a friend I screenshot them and keep them in a folder on my computer I have 18 so far.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    As far as self worth and validation is concerned I have found that the only one who can give you deep meaningful long lasting feelings of self worth ?

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Francis_theythem
    Francis_theythem Community member Posts: 120 Pioneering
    Hey, I'm Frances. I study philosophy at undergraduate level! I also suffer badly from ME, also PoTS, autism, and unspecified dissociative disorder.
    Virtue Ethics! Aristotle's Ethics put in perspective what matters in life - obviously for him it is eudaimonia, achieved through being virtuous. It was nothing to do with not being able to be as productive as others, which I've suffered from for a long time, but about how I respond to it.
    If you're not aware of her, there's a chronically ill philosopher called Havi Carel, and having that understanding at research level felt quite good. For my own reflection, Lao Tzu is important to me also.
    What about you?

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 486 Pioneering
    Very interesting question!  I must fess up that I am not a disabled person but my son is (complex CP, no speech, student...) and I am also the holder of an MA in Philosophy!  And I have to say that my most frequently referenced philosopher is Thomas Nagel and "what is it like to be a bat?"  Which is essentially about how impossible it is to imagine, truly and completely, what it is like to be anything other than what you are.  And I do think this resonates with a lot of disability related issues inasmuch as, for example,  just covering your mouth for a day, or using a wheelchair for a couple of hours, in no way really reflects lived life as an AAC user, or a wheelchair user (but too often people seem to think that it does...)


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