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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It may seem obvious that causing disability in another person is morally problematic in a way that removing or preventing a disability is not. This suggests that there is a moral asymmetry between causing disability and causing non-disability. This chapter investigates whether there are any differences between these two types of actions that might explain the existence of a general moral asymmetry. After setting aside the possibility that having a disability is almost always bad or harmful for a person (a view that we have critiqued at length elsewhere), seven putative differences are considered. Ultimately, it is concluded that none of these seven factors can ground a general moral asymmetry between causing disability and causing non-disability, though each factor can provide some moral reason to avoid causing disability in certain particular cases.

Keywords: disability, non-disability, causing disability, preventing disability, well-being

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