First Advisor

Dr. Karen Adkins


Dr. Abigail Gosselin


Regis College

Degree Name


Department (optional)


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

58 pages


In philosophy, our goal is to ultimately discover what it is to be human. How do we exist in our world, and how should we exist? Throughout history, philosophers have been attempting to answer these questions in any way possible. Well, almost. Unfortunately, marginalized voices -- such as those with disabilities -- have been excluded from the conversation in a way that minimizes and undermines any answers provided. Philosophers such as Descartes make the argument that human existence is purely in the mind, and that we can separate ourselves from our bodies; many disabled philosophers would disagree. Disability studies finds that our body has just as much of an influence on our cognition as our brain (sometimes even more so); to separate ourselves from our bodies would be to fundamentally change our existence. We would not exist in the same capacity. But, because disabled voices have been excluded from philosophical literature and discussions, the canon currently has no choice but to follow the Socratic, Platonic, Aristotelian, and Cartesian ways of thinking: our bodies are mere instruments for our being and morality. In my thesis, I examine the ways in which ableism have influenced our philosophical thinking and how we as philosophers can attempt to include disabled voices in philosophy going forward.

Date of Award

Winter 2021

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.