Egg Timers, Human Values, and the Care of Autistic Youths

R.P.J. Hendriks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article argues that autistic people occasionally experience greater comfort from imposed routines than from a yielding form of love and understanding, which I will call naive humanism Collins's theory of action, with its attention toward the achievements residing in a reductionist approach can help to point out the flaws of a naive humanistic stance. It would, however be a mistake to stop at this point and remain satisfied with the problem-solving capacity of such a reductionist stance. In a ward for autistic youths, the risk of cruelty resides in a purely mechanistic stance as much as in a naive humanistic approach. Thus, the social context of care of autistic people urges us to question the scope of a traditional scheme of thought, which cherishes a deep distinction between humans and machines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-424
Number of pages26
JournalScience Technology & Human Values
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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