Minority minds: mental disability and the presumption of value-neutrality

Carter, M. (2023) Minority minds: mental disability and the presumption of value-neutrality. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 40(2), pp. 358-375. (doi: 10.1111/japp.12636)

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Elizabeth Barnes has recently developed an account of disability that is sensitive to the role of self-evaluation. To have a physical disability is, according to Barnes, to have a body that is merely different from the norm. Yet, as Barnes notes, some disabilities will genuinely frustrate some life plans. It may be the case, therefore, that a disability is instrumentally bad for a person and that acquiring one may be a genuine loss. Equally, however, a person may genuinely value a disability such that it is instrumentally good for them and that they experience the acquiring of it as a gain. Notably, Barnes explicitly restricts this analysis to physical disabilities, leaving open the status of mental disabilities. Nevertheless, Barnes does not rule out the extension of her model to this category, and she expresses a desire to see future work on other disabilities built upon it. This article takes up this challenge, making the case that to possess a mental disability is merely to possess a minority mind.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr Matilda
Authors: Carter, M.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Journal of Applied Philosophy
ISSN (Online):1468-5930
Published Online:08 December 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Applied Philosophy 40(2):358-375
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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