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 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 over two dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, author of The Life Worth Living: Disability, Pain, and the History of Morality (forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press), The Meaning of Disability (under contract with Oxford University Press), Philosophy of Disability: An Introduction (under contract with Polity), co-editor with Christine Wieseler of The Disability Bioethics Reader (forthcoming with Routledge), and lead editor with Erik Parens of a 2020 special issue of the Hastings Center Report "For All of Us? On the Weight of Genomic Knowledge." Current work includes a number of journal articles as well as chapters for The Oxford Handbook of Social EpistemologyPhilosophy of Disability: New PerspectivesThe Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling, Applying Nonideal Theory to BioethicsCritical Humanities and Aging, and Gaslighting. 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. Dr. Reynolds earned his B.A. in Philosophy as well as Religious Studies from the University of Oregon in 2009 and earned his PhD from Emory University in 2017. 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 »