Response

Making yourself useful

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this essay I reply to Stanley Hauerwas’ reading of my book, Life as We Know It, by way of engaging Hauerwas’ critique of Enlightenment humanism, and, more specifically, the Kantian categorical imperative. I argue that Hauerwas is mistaken to claim that “humanism cannot help but think that, all things considered, it would be better if [the mentally handicapped] did not exist,” even as I agree in part with his trenchant critique of my own work and of the widely-accepted Kantian proposition that human beings should treat each other as ends in themselves, never as means to an end. Finally, I defend my antifoundationalist formulation of moral “obligation” with regard to persons with mental disabilities against Hauerwas’s Christian critique thereof by noting that even Hauerwas, at a critical juncture of his argument, relies on a pragmatist, antifoundationalist understanding of what it means to “help” other humans-and what it means to make oneself useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Religion, Disability and Health
Volume8
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

mental disability
humanism
Humanism
human being
Moral Obligations
obligation
Mentally Disabled Persons
Disabled Persons
Reading
Stanley Hauerwas
Immanuel Kant

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Religious studies
  • Law

Cite this

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Response : Making yourself useful. / Berube, Michael Francis.

In: Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, Vol. 8, No. 3-4, 01.01.2005, p. 31-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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