Disability and human enhancement

Chaproniere, Lysette (2023) Disability and human enhancement. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis has three aims. Firstly, to make the case for considering disability and enhancement in parallel. There is an ethical need for debates on enhancement to incorporate disability perspectives, concepts of enhancement depend on concepts of disability, and drawing the two together can help us avoid biases. Secondly, to investigate which views on disability are consistent with which views on enhancement. It is difficult to oppose enhancement while holding that it is bad to be disabled. While some accounts that take a more positive view of disability or impairment, such as the strong social model, might imply that we should change society rather than using enhancements, other disability-positive views, such as the value-neutral model, leave room for the possibility that enhancement is beneficial for some people. Support for enhancement can thus be accompanied by a nuanced understanding of the relationship between disability and well-being, and enhancement need not be in conflict with disability justice. Third, to develop a substantive view on disability and enhancement. Disability, understood as socially salient limitation, is somewhat bad in general or on average, but the position defended leaves room for many cases in which disability is neutral or desirable. This view can thus capture what is right in both bad-difference and mere-difference views. Enhancements, understood as capacity-increasing technologies, are likely to be beneficial to many people, and are important to develop and make widely available. Nevertheless, individuals are not obligated to use them. Developments in these technologies should therefore be accompanied by concrete steps to ensure that society remains as accessible as possible for those who do not use them, just as we should promote accessibility for people considered disabled now.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Supervisor's Name: Carter, Dr. Adam, Pettigrove, Professor Glen and Jenkins, Dr. Katharine
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83465
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 13:19
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 09:25
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83465
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83465
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