A Symmetrical View of Disability and Enhancement

In Adam Cureton & David Wasserman (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability. Oxford University Press. pp. 561-79 (2020)
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Abstract

Disability and enhancement are often treated as opposing concepts. To become disabled in some respect is to move away from those who are enhanced in that same respect; to become enhanced is to move away from the corresponding state of disability. This chapter examines how best to understand the concepts of disability and enhancement in this symmetrical way. After considering various candidates, two types of accounts are identified as the most promising: welfarist accounts and typical-functioning accounts. The authors ultimately defend a complex typical-functioning account as the best way to achieve a symmetrical understanding of disability and enhancement.

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