Posts

Showing posts from September, 2020

A critique of the concept of 'occupational rights' on Constitution Day 2020

Image
Today is Constitution Day - a good time to reflect on the nature of rights, particularly as this is an apparent topic of interest among some occupational scientists.

Many people improperly believe that in an American context rights spring out of the Constitution.  Actually, the so-called Bill of Rights is a list of governmental limitations - or actions that the government can not take against individuals related to their rights.  One of my favorites is the ninth amendment - so limiting in its scope - it states that enumerating any rights in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

So what is the actual source of these rights?  The American Declaration of Independence states that they are endowed by a Creator - often interpreted as natural rights that are inalienable.  

Natural rights were previously identified by John Locke in context of England's Glorious Revolution - identified at the time as the rights to "life, liberty…

Perspectives on motive

Image
Because we are inherently social, we spend a lot of time trying to understand motive in the actions of others.  Motive provides a context from which we can apply a category or frame - and as we are also inherently driven toward sense-making and meaning-making this idea of motive is a pragmatic tool that actually serves our own purpose.

In occupational therapy, a practitioner will take motive out of this standard context and attempt to manipulate it as a tool for promoting a certain outcome.  It is a presumptuous methodology, and probably something that we need to spend time discussing.  Used incorrectly, the manipulation of motive can at best simply backfire, and at worst can actually be an assault on another person's autonomy and freedom.  In either case, if you get it wrong, it ends up being rather unhelpful.

+++

We have many squirrels in the neighborhood of our home in the Finger Lakes.  The grandchildren derive endless amusement at watching them - the front yard animals all have …