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‘First-Person Perspective’ and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Haynes, Gordon (2018) ‘First-Person Perspective’ and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. MPhil thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Lynne Rudder Baker describes what it is to be a human person in terms of having a robust first-person perspective that is linked to the human body during that person’s lifetime. First-person perspective is described as having two versions that are related to each other in terms of essential, derived and non-derived components that enable us to live in a society with contemporary ambitions. Within this model there is a prima facie case to suggest that those on the autistic spectrum might not necessarily fit in given the isolation that tends to go hand in hand with those who are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The diagnosis tends to meet objective criteria that do not sit comfortably with the way those on the spectrum describe their own situation. Baker initially challenges that self-description after considering the work of Temple Grandin and, relying on the development of language ability, comes to see autism as a special case in her paradigm. Baker forces that special case into her model but it seems to sit awkwardly in the template she has constructed. I will describe some alternative routes to justify her special case category using concepts that Baker purposefully turned away from because of their scientific credentials. These routes are currently under investigation by neuroscientists. Baker chose not to justify her contention using such methodology but I argue that scientific epistemology provides an avenue to sharpen her model further. In so doing we can also establish a neurodiversity agenda that uses philosophical methodology to champion changes in attitudes.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Depositing User: Mr Gordon Haynes
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 10:19
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 10:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21354

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