Joel Michael Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Disability Studies at Georgetown University, a Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, a Senior Advisor at The Hastings Center, and core faculty in Georgetown’s Disability Studies Program. He is also the founder of The Journal of Philosophy of Disability, which he edits with Teresa Blankmeyer Burke.
At the broadest level, Dr. Reynolds’ work explores the relationship between bodies, values, and society. He is especially concerned with the meaning of disability, the issue of ableism, and how philosophical inquiry into each might improve the lives of people with disabilities and the justness of institutions ranging from medicine to politics. These concerns lead to research across a range of traditions and specialties, including philosophy of disability, applied ethics (especially biomedical ethics, public health, and ELSI research in genomics), European and American philosophy (with an emphasis on phenomenology and pragmatism as practiced in connection with history of philosophy), and social epistemology (particularly issues of epistemic injustice as linked to social ontology).
Dr. Reynolds is the author or editor of five books: The Life Worth Living: Disability, Pain, and Morality (forthcoming in 2022 with University of Minnesota Press), The Meaning of Disability (under contract with Oxford University Press), Philosophy of Disability: An Introduction (under contract with Polity), The Disability Bioethics Reader (forthcoming in 2022 with Routledge and co-edited with Christine Wieseler), and The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability and Technology (forthcoming in 2023 with Oxford University Press and co-edited with Liz Bowen, Erik Parens, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson). Also with Erik Parens, he co-edited a 2020 special issue of The Hastings Center Report, “For All of Us? On the Weight of Genomic Knowledge.” Dr. Reynolds has authored or co-authored over thirty journal articles and book chapters, and his current research includes a number of article-length studies as well as chapters for The Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology, Claiming the Canon: Philosophy’s Disability History, The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling, and the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Existentialism. Recent authored or co-authored articles of his appear in Episteme, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, AMA Journal of Ethics, Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, Journal of Medical Ethics, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, The Hastings Center Report, Foucault Studies, Levinas Studies, and Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning the Thought of Merleau-Ponty.
His public work has been featured in TIME, HuffPost, AEON, The Conversation, Health Progress, and in a Tedx talk. Currently, he is the co-director of a 2-year NEH Public Humanities grant project, The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability and Technology, chair of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy’s Committee on Accessibility, Disability, and Inclusion, and a board member of the Society for Philosophy and Disability. He has received fellowships supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Reynolds earned his B.A. in Philosophy as well as in Religious Studies from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Emory University. He previously taught at The University of Massachusetts Lowell, and he held the inaugural Rice Family Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioethics and the Humanities at The Hastings Center from 2017-2020. You can reach Dr. Reynolds by email at joel [dot] reynolds [at] georgetown [dot] edu.