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Aidan's Way

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    Understanding disability from a Taoist point of view



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I teach contemporary Chinese politics and ancient Chinese philosophy at Williams College, where I have been a faculty member since 1989.

In 1998 my writing took a turn away from academic argumentation. By then, my son, Aidan, who had been born profoundly disabled, was about seven years old and I started to chronicle our lives together in a series of short articles (I've posted most of these on the right sidebar of the blog). One thing led to another and, in 2002, I published a book about him, Aidan's Way, which contemplates disability from a Daoist perspective.

I then started to read more in Confucianism, using these texts as a source for philosophy as a way of life. Aidan died unexpectedly in 2006 but his inspiration has propelled me along. My most recent book - Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dao - applies concepts drawn from pre-Qin Daoist and Confucian texts to a range of contemporary American social and ethical issues. Aidan lives on in its pages.


Chinese philosophy, Chinese politics, East Asian international relations, international relations, international political economy, disability studies, old New York teams (Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Rangers).