Harm, Liberty, and Disability

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Melinda Rosenberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library

Abstract: This paper offers a libertarian approach to disability discourse. Using John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, I argue that current discourse involves a "tyranny of the majority" that silences those in minority positions, including disabled people. Disability discourses are disregarded or dismissed because they often do not fit seamlessly into the opinions of the majority. Like Mill, I will argue that a society cannot flourish if it silences those who may disagree with the majority, or simply offer a different perspective. In a libertarian society, the only time a person's liberty to think and to act can be restricted is when he or she poses a harm to others. Disability discourse, while different, does not pose any harm to the populace and it ought to be encouraged in a healthy, pluralistic civilization.

Additional Information

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ), volume 29 issue 3
Language: English
Date: 2009
Disability, Disabled People, Human Rights, Disability Discourses, Libertarian Society, Liberty

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