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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In her widely known paper “Valuing Disability, Causing Disability” Elizabeth Barnes defends the view that disability is a mere difference (Mere-Difference View, or MDV). Her paper is a response to critics who argue that the MDV implies the permissibility of inflicting disability. Barnes defends the view that inflicting disability is nevertheless morally wrong because of (1) the transition costs of becoming disabled, and (2) the Principle of Non-Interference (PNI). This chapter argues that although Barnes is right in affirming that inflicting disability is morally wrong, the arguments she provides in support of this conclusion are unsuccessful in a number of cases. Absent better defense, the MDV remains susceptible to permitting the infliction of disability.

Keywords: value of disability, inflicting disability, transition costs, personal identity, Elizabeth Barnes, mere difference

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