On the possibility and desirability of constructing a neutral conception of disability

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 24 (6):471-487 (2003)

Authors
Anita Silvers
San Francisco State University
Abstract
Disagreement about the properattitude toward disability proliferates. Yetlittle attention has been paid to an importantmeta-question, namely, whether ``disability'' isan essentially contested concept. If so, recentdebates between bioethicists and the disabilitymovement leadership cannot be resolved. Inthis essay I identify some of the presumptionsthat make their encounters so contentious. Much more must happen, I argue, for anydiscussions about disability policy andpolitics to be productive. Progress depends onconstructing a neutral conception ofdisability, one that neither devaluesdisability nor implies that persons withdisabilities are inadequate. So, first, I clearaway the conceptual underbrush that makes usthink our idea of disability must bevalue-laden. Second, I sketch someconstituents of, and constraints upon, aneutral notion of disability.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Ethics   Philosophy of Medicine   General Surgery   History of Medicine
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/B:META.0000006924.82156.5b
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Feminism and Disability.Joel Michael Reynolds & Anita Silvers - 2007 - In Carol Hay (ed.), Philosophy: Feminism. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 295-316.
Vorsprung Durch Technik: On Biotechnology, Bioethics, and Its Beneficiaries.Nicky Priaulx - 2011 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (2):174-184.
Disability and Justice.Christie Hartley - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (2):120-132.

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