Is Disability a Neutral Condition?

Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2):188-210 (2016)
The issue of whether biological and psychological properties associated with disability can be harmful, beneficial, or neutral brings up an important philosophical question about how we evaluate disability, and disability’s impact on well-being. The debate is usually characterized as between those who argue disability is intrinsically harmful, and disability rights advocates who argue that disability is just another way of being different, in part, because disability can also provide important benefits. I argue that this debate is a false one, as neither view can capture the more complicated relationship between disability and well-being. I argue that many disabilities are best understood as a kind of pro-tanto extrinsic harm that is characterized in counterfactual terms. This means that our judgments concerning disability and harm must be context-sensitive.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/josp.12147
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,696
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Can We Harm and Benefit in Creating?Elizabeth Harman - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):89–113.
Doing Away with Harm.Ben Bradley - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):390-412.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Beyond Disability?Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):210-228.
The Case for Conserving Disability.Rosemarie Garland-Thomson - 2012 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (3):339-355.
Disability, Minority, and Difference.Elizabeth Barnes - 2009 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (4):337-355.
Dimensions of Disability.Simo Vehmas - 2004 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 13 (1):34-40.
Attributed Disability: A Spot of Local Difficulty.George Peat - 2006 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 12 (1):8-12.
Picturing Disability: Beggar, Freak, Citizen, and Other Photographic Rhetoric. [REVIEW]Melinda C. Hall - 2014 - Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 8 (1):121-124.
Sceptical Rationality.Jan Willem Wieland - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):222-238.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
91 ( #65,743 of 2,237,286 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #38,165 of 2,237,286 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature