Joel Michael Reynolds

Joel Michael Reynolds


Senior Advisor

Download CV for Joel Michael Reynolds

Joel Michael Reynolds is a senior advisor to The Hastings Center and an assistant professor of philosophy and disability studies at Georgetown University.  He is also the founder of the Journal of Philosophy of Disability, which he edits with Teresa Blankmeyer Burke. His research and public engagement center on foundational issues concerning ethics, society, and embodiment. What does flourishing mean in the genomic age? How do our bodies shape experience, understanding, and judgment? How can bioethics better incorporate the insights from disability studies and activism? 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. Seeking to bring reflective and empirical insights together, he engages work across the humanities and social sciences, with a special emphasis on the role of lived experience. Dr. Reynolds is the co-director, with Erik Parens, of a 2-year, $250k NEH Public Humanities Community Conversations grant project: “The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability and Technology.”

Dr. Reynolds is the author or co-author of nearly 30 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 Genetic CounselingApplying Nonideal Theory to BioethicsThe Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology, and Critical Humanities and Aging. His public philosophy has been featured in TIMEThe New York Times (forthcoming), HuffPostAEON, and in a Tedx talk. He is also a regular contributor to the researcher-led news outlet The Conversation. From 2017-2020, Dr. Reynolds was the inaugural Rice Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics and the Humanities at The Hastings Center. For more detailed information, please see his website:


ITSP Magazine’s “The Future of the Future” Podcast: “Disability, Technology, and Flourishing w/ Joel Michael Reynolds”

The Conversation: “3 Ethical Reasons to Vaccinate Your Children”

Examining Ethics Podcast interview on “Caregiving, Finite Responsibility, and Infinite Hope”

AEON on The Politics of Prognosis

TIME on gene-editing, disability, and family

TEDx talk on ethics, disability, and family

The UnMute Podcast interview on philosophy, technology, stigma, and disability


Joel Michael Reynolds, Laura Guidry-Grimes and Katie Savin, Against Personal Ventilator Reallocation, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30(2)

Joel Michael Reynolds and David M. Peña-Guzmán, “The Harm of Ableism: Medical Error and Epistemic Injustice,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29(3): 205-242

Joel Michael Reynolds, “How Biomedical Technologies Harm Patients as Knowers,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy, forthcoming.

Joel Michael Reynolds, “Three Things Clinicians Should Know about Disability,” AMA Journal of Ethics 20(12): E1182-1188

Joel Michael Reynolds, “The Extended Body: On Aging, Disability, and Well-Being,” The Hastings Center Report 48(S3): S31-36

Joel Michael Reynolds, “Toward a Critical Theory of Harm: Ableism, Normativity, and Transability (BIID),” APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 2016; 16(1): 37-45.

Joel Michael Reynolds, “Infinite Responsibility in the Bedpan: Response Ethics, Care Ethics, and the Phenomenology of Dependency Work,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 2016; 31(4): 779-94. DOI: 10.1111/hypa.12292, 2016.

Joel Michael Reynolds, “The Ableism of Quality of Life Judgments in Disorders of Consciousness: Who Bears Epistemic Responsibility?American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2016; 7(1): 59-61. DOI:10.1080/21507740.2016.1150911.

You can also follow Dr. Reynolds on PhilPapers, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, SSRN, and his personal website.


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