Towards an Ethics of Autism: A Philosophical Exploration - cover image


Kristien Hens

Published On





  • English

Print Length

206 pages (xviii+188)


Paperback156 x 11 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.44" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 13 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.5" x 9.21")


Paperback655g (23.10oz)
Hardback1032g (36.40oz)

OCLC Number





  • MJN
  • MJNA
  • HPQ
  • PSAD


  • PHI005000
  • PHI031000
  • EDU040000
  • PSY022020


  • RC553.A88


  • Autism
  • Perspectives on autism
  • History of autism
  • Leo Kanner
  • Hans Asperger
  • Ethical reflections about autism

Towards an Ethics of Autism

A Philosophical Exploration

What does it mean to say that someone is autistic?

Dynamics of Autism is an exploration of this question and many more. In this thoughtful, wide-ranging book, Kristien Hens examines a number of perspectives on autism, including psychiatric, biological, and philosophical, to consider different ways of thinking about autism, as well as its meanings to those who experience it, those who diagnose it, and those who research it. Hens delves into the history of autism and its roots in the work of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger to inform a contemporary ethical analysis of the models we use to understand autism today. She explores the various impacts of a diagnosis on autistic people and their families, the relevance of disability studies, the need to include autistic people fully in discussions about (and research on) autism, and the significance of epigenetics to future work on autism.

Hens weaves together a variety of perspectives that guide the reader in their own ethical reflections about autism. Rich, accessible, and multi-layered, this essential reading for for philosophers, educational scientists, and psychologists who are interested in philosophical-ethical questions related to autism, but it also has much to offer to teachers, allied health professionals, and autistic people themselves.


Kristien Hens succeeds in weaving together experiential expertise of both people with autism and their parents, scientific insights and ethics, and does so with great passion and affection for people with autism (with or without mental or other disabilities). In this book she not only asks pertinent questions, but also critically examines established claims that fail to take into account the criticism and experiences of people with autism.

Sam Peeters

author of Autistic Gelukkig (Garant, 2018) and Gedurfde vragen (Garant, 2020)

Full Review


This book contributes to the current raging discussion over society’s view of autism and the examination of the concept’s realis_x0002_tic and ethical significance. The author successfully fulfils the goal of incorporating rich experiences from all angles of knowledge and delivering the unheard voices of autistic individuals to readers through both major queries and ger_x0002_mane assertions on the unexplained part of criticism directed at autistic people.

Wan Hazrena Fakeeza Wan Zakaria

"Book Review: Towards an Ethics of Autism - A Philosophical Exploration". International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies (2202-9478), vol. 9, no. 4, 2021. doi:10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.9n.4p.289

Full Review

Additional Resources


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  • Raymond Langenberg
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10. Dynamic Approaches

(pp. 129–140)
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