Disability, impairment, and marginalised functioning

Jenkins, K. and Webster, A. (2021) Disability, impairment, and marginalised functioning. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 99(4), pp. 730-747. (doi: 10.1080/00048402.2020.1799048)

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One challenge in providing an adequate definition of physical disability is that of unifying the heterogeneous bodily conditions that count as disabilities. We examine recent proposals by Elizabeth Barnes [2016], and Dana Howard and Sean Aas [2018], and show how this debate has reached an impasse. Barnes’s account struggles to deliver principled unification of the category of disability, whilst Howard and Aas’s account risks inappropriately sidelining the body. We argue that this impasse can be broken by using a novel concept—marginalised functioning. Marginalised functioning concerns the relationship between a person’s bodily capacities and their social world—specifically, their ability to function in line with the default norms about how people can typically physically function that influence the structuring of social space. We argue that attending to marginalised functioning allows us to develop, not one, but three different models of disability, all of which—whilst having different strengths and weaknesses—unify the category of disability without sidelining the body.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jenkins, Dr Katharine
Authors: Jenkins, K., and Webster, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1471-6828
Published Online:31 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Australasian Journal of Philosophy
First Published:First published in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99(4): 730-747
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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