- 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
The concept of disability is used across a variety of contexts to describe different phenomena and prescribe distinct behaviors or norms. The definitional challenge is not only that the category of “disabled people” is heterogenous, but also that what “disability” should denote, primarily or exclusively, is controversial among both theorists and practitioners. This conceptual breadth is far from innocuous: disability models have the potential to influence public policies, culture, and interactions by suggesting what rights, duties, and social expectations disability entails. Instead of examining those various definitions and arguing in favor of one, this chapter considers the unavoidable cultural polysemy of disability and contrasts the appeal and limitations of the main theoretical strategies to manage it. Some disability models deny that competing understandings of disability are valid, others seek to determine procedures through which disabilities will be defined and assessed, and still others conceptualize disability in a more culturally malleable way.
Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry is an Assistant Professor of Law at McGill University (joint appointment with the Institute for Health and Social Policy) and a member of the Quebec Bar. His publications include a book on freedom of expression in Latin America and articles in the areas of legal history, human rights, ethics and disability law. He collaborates with disability organizations on public policy issues and is an Advisor to the Vulnerable Persons Standard.
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