Disability, Dialogue, and the Posthuman

Studies in Philosophy and Education 37 (6):567-578 (2018)
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Abstract

This article is the result of a mutual interest in the radical philosophical dialogue discussed by Martin Buber. The radical dialogue is rooted in western European values of humanism, values that are challenged because they exclude women, people with disabilities, non-western, indigenous people and sexual minorities. With our basis in radical dialogue we are discussing flaws within the very concept of dialogue, how dialogue is challenged in encounters between people with severe disabilities and their helpers, and we are proposing a new interpretation of dialogue in a posthuman area. To illuminate what might be at stake in relations where power is clearly imbalanced we use Pierre Bourdieus theory of the gift when asking ourselves: “How can we understand dialogue when there apparently is one dominant giver and one receiver unable to return the gift?” Discussing this question, we draw on Rosi Braidotti and her Posthuman Critical Theory to see if we can find new grounds to build dialogue on.

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