Disability and mere difference

Guy Kahane, Julian Savulescu

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Some disability activists argue that disability is merely a difference. It is often objected that this view has unacceptable implications, implying, for example, that it is permissible to cause disability. In reply, Elizabeth Barnes argues that viewing disability as a difference needn’t entail such implications and that seeing such implications as unacceptable is question-begging. We argue that Barnes misconstrues this objection to the mere difference view of disability: it’s not question-begging to regard its implications as unacceptable, and the grounds that Barnes offers for potentially blocking some of these implications fail to explain our conviction that it’s impermissible to cause disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-788
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

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