- Theoretical Strategies to Define Disability
- Disability, Health, and Difference
- Philosophy and the Apparatus of Disability
- What’s Wrong with “You Say You’re Happy, but … ” Reasoning?
- Epistemic Exclusion, Injustice, and Disability
- Cognitive Disability and Embodied, Extended Minds
- Disabilities and Well-Being: The Bad and the Neutral
- Habilitative Health and Disability
- The Visible and the Invisible: Disability, Assistive Technology, and Stigma
- Contractualism, Disability, and Inclusion
- Civic Republican Disability Justice
- Reproductive Choice in Context: Avoiding Excess and Deficiency?
- The Limiting Role of Respect
- Respect, Identification, and Profound Cognitive Impairment
- A Dignitarian Approach to Disability: From Moral Status to Social Status
- Dignity, Respect, and Cognitive Disability
- Disability, Rationality, and Justice: Disambiguating Adaptive Preferences
- Educational Justice for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
- Neurotechnologies and Justice by, with, and for Disabled People
- Second Thoughts on Enhancement and Disability
- Cost-Effectiveness Analysis and Disability Discrimination
- The Disability Case Against Assisted Dying
- Prioritization and Parity: Which Disabled Newborn Infants Should Be Candidates for Scarce Life-Saving Treatment?
- On Moral Status and Intellectual Disability: Challenging and Expanding the Debates
- Cognitive Disability and Moral Status
- Bioethics, Disability, and Selective Reproductive Technology: Taking Intersectionality Seriously
- Procreation and Intellectual Disability: A Kantian Approach
- Parental Autonomy, Children with Disabilities, and Horizontal Identities
- Why People with Cognitive Disabilities Are Justified in Feeling Disquieted by Prenatal Testing and Selective Termination
- Ideals of Appreciation and Expressions of Respect
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter argues for a normative distinction between disabilities that are inherently negative with respect to well-being and disabilities that are inherently neutral. After clarifying terms, the author discusses recent arguments according to which possession of a disability is inherently neutral with respect to well-being. He notes that although these arguments are compelling, they are only intended to cover certain disabilities and, in fact, that there exists a broad class regarding which they do not apply. He then discusses two problem cases: locked-in syndrome and the minimally conscious state, and explains why these are cases in which possession of these disabilities makes one worse off overall. He argues that disabilities that significantly impair control over one’s situation tend to be inherently negative with respect to well-being; other disabilities do not. The upshot is that we must draw an important normative distinction between disabilities that undermine this kind of control and disabilities that do not.
Joshua Shepherd is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Carleton University, and a Research Professor at the University of Barcelona. He works in the philosophy of mind, action, and practical ethics. His book Consciousness and Moral Status will be published by Routledge in 2018.
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