Examples Of The Mere-Difference View Of Disability

722 Words3 Pages
One of the largest proponents of the mere-difference view of disability is Elizabeth Barnes. She briefly summarizes her view in four quick bullet points; firstly, that disability is similar to features like race or gender. The second being that disability is not a departure from “normal functioning”. Third, disability is a part of human diversity that has value work preserving. Finally, that most of the downsides from having a disability come from society’s treatment of disabled people. She conceded that all these are not necessary to have a mere-difference view of disability, only that one deny both a good-difference and bad-difference view of disability. To understand Barnes’ point I must first explain what she means by mere-difference and bad-difference (she doesn’t focus on good-difference as few people argue a good-difference view of disability). A bad-difference is something that in-itself lessens the possessor’s well-being. Intuitively, the opposite of this would be a good-difference. Following this trend, a mere-difference is something that in-itself doesn’t make the possessor worse off or better off in respect to their well-being. The exact meaning of well-being varies between different schools of thought. Hedonism states that well-being means more pleasure than pain. Desire Theory states that well-being consists of satisfaction of desires. List theory describes well-being as obtaining what is considered to be objectively good for a person. For this paper I will
Open Document