Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (727.19 kB)
Download file

Considering the disabling nature of deafness as misrecognition

Download (727.19 kB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 20:37 authored by Joshua Sealy
The aim of this thesis is to consider the disabling nature of deafness as misrecognition. The nature of deafness is not merely confined to the disabled body; instead the degree of the disability is heavily determined by the process of recognition within social interactions. Motivating this thesis is the inherent difficulty in resolving the conflict between Deaf culture and cochlear implants. The debates between interpreting deafness as disability and deafness as difference is problematic; both are too extreme and do not capture the essence of deafness. Asserting deafness as cultural allows for relativism, thus allowing the idea of deafness as purely disabled-in-itself as an acceptable idea in ethics. These rather common approaches do not help with the defence of Deaf culture. I argue that the ideal way to defend Deaf culture - the appropriate source of recognition for deaf people and people with hearing loss - is by revising the ‘Deafhood’ model proposed by Paddy Ladd: Asserting a universal conception of Deaf culture - incorporating the normative elements of recognition as argued by Honneth - as a phenomenological requirement for deaf people, not a cultural one. The corollary of this argument is that Deaf culture has a teleological function: to promote the wellbeing of deaf people


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. The versatility of deafness and the introduction of the cochlear implant -- Chapter 2. Examining the debate on deaf culture and cochlear implants -- Chapter 3. Reconceptualising deafness as a disability -- Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 66-69

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

1964- Nicholas


Copyright Joshua Sealy 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (iv, 69 pages)

Former Identifiers