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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

People with disabilities sometimes feel disrespected by some of the ways that well-meaning people regard and treat them. Respect for something is often thought to involve understanding and acknowledging it, holding it in high regard and engaging with it. But there is another aspect of our ordinary idea of respect, one that involves resistance, reluctance, and limitation. Negative respect presumptively requires us to recognize and acknowledge respectful limits on how we treat others. Other aspects of human dignity, such as benevolence, appreciation, and positive respect, can provide competing presumptions about how to affirm the dignity of persons. We should nonetheless take seriously a general theme that underlies many kinds of legitimate complaints that disabled and non-disabled people have, which is that even well-meaning people sometimes overstep bounds of respect in the otherwise good and virtuous ways that they regard and treat those with disabilities.

Keywords: respect, positive respect, negative respect, appreciation, benevolence, dignity, disability

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