Joel Michael Reynolds, PhD

Senior Research Scholar,
Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Disability Studies

Dr. Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Disability Studies at Georgetown University, a Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, core faculty in the Disability Studies Program at Georgetown, and a senior advisor to The Hastings Center. He is 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. Dr. Reynolds is the author or co-author 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 is the author or co-author of 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 Crip History, and The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling. Dr. Reynolds' public work has been featured in TIME, HuffPost, AEON, The Conversation, Health Progress, and in a Tedx talk. Currently, he is also 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. Dr. Reynolds earned his B.A. in Philosophy as well as Religious Studies from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and earned his MA and PhD from Emory University. From 2017-2020, he was the inaugural Rice Family Fellow in Bioethics and the Humanities at The Hastings Center.

Did you know?

As co-director of an NEH Public Humanities Grant, Dr. Reynolds has helped bring the insights of leading disability studies scholars and disability activists to a global audience.

Learn more about the grant »