What is the Evolutionary Function Account of disability?
A disability is some statistically atypical trait that (through most of our evolutionary history) substantially decreases likelihood of survival or reproduction.
What worries does Barnes raise for the Evolutionary Function Account?
It over generates disabilities. Ex. Being gay; genetic predispositions for cancer
What worries does Barnes raise for the Inability Account?
Over generates and under generates disabilities.
Ex. 1: Achondroplasia (Dwarfism) + petite woman; either both or neither are a disability
Ex. 2 Joint Hypermobility Syndrome; Helps Michael Phelps in Olympics
What is the Discrimination Account of disability?
Disability is an impairment which harms or restricts you because of how society responds to that impairment.
What worries does Barnes raise for the Discrimination Account?
Worry 1: Appealing to "impairment" is
Worry 2: This fails to classify disabilities in the usual way Ex. Multiple Sclerosis + enlightened society
What is Barnes's Conventionalist Account of disability?
Disability is something that the disability rights movement calls a
"disability" (circa 2022).
1. Account is not restricted to known disabilities (grinch gene)
2. Relies on the judgment of the 2022 disability rights movement (blindness + middle ages)
What worries does Gregory raise for Barnes's Conventionalist Account?
Barnes's Account entails that the judgments of the 2022 disability
rights movement is infallible
Ex. Early disability rights movement + ADHD
What is Gregory's Inability Account of disability?
Disability = a lack of ability
a) which most people have,
b) which is partially explained by physical features, and c) is not explained by other people's attitudes toward other people with those features
1. "Ability" = "ability to perform intentional actions" (hair color)
2. "Most people" = "most people of the same sex and stage of development" (baby Chris)
3. b + c one to rule out lack of ability due to discrimination (blindness vs big nose + ability to cross road)
Does Gregory's account allow for temporary disabilities? Does it allow for environment-dependent disabilities?
1. Disabilities can be temporary (viral infection)
2. Disabilities can be environment dependent (magic google glasses)
What worries might one raise for Gregory's account? (And how might Gregory reply to these worries?)
Counterexample (?) 1: Inability to whistle
Gregory's response - It is a disability, but it is usually misleading/inappropriate to call it one
Ex. "I'd help you move, but I have a health problem." [I have a pimple]
Counterexample (?) 2: Achondroplasia (dwarfism) + petite
Gregory's response - Achondroplasia is more atypical, and restrict ability more, than being a petite woman
Need to define as an inability
Counterexample (?) 3: Joint Hypermobility Syndrome; Gregory's
response - ...?...
Need to define it as an inability
Counterexample (?) 4: Inability to walk in a straight line
Gregory's response - not discussed but could be same as CE 1
What is McMahan's reply to the claim that selecting against disability is wrong because it's prejudiced?
Reply 1: Not selecting against disability does not make you not
Reply 2: Selecting against disability needn't be prejudice
Ex. Eye color
What is McMahan's reply to the claim that selecting against disability is wrong because it harms existing people who are disabled, and deprives people of the insights those who are disabled bring?
Reply 1: If obj. 2 and 3 are good reasons to not select against
disability, then they are also good reasons to select for
Reply 2*: Similar benefits arise for people who experience bad things, but those benefits do not outweigh the badness that comes from those things; Ex. Mugging
What is McMahan's Aphrodisiac Argument for the conclusion that it's not wrong to select against disability?
Premise 1: If it is wrong to select against disability, then it is
permissible to select for disability
Premise 2: If it is ok to select for disability, then it is permissible to select the aphrodisiac drug when trying to conceive
Premise 3: It is not ok to take the aphrodisiac drug when trying to conceive
Conclusion: It is not wrong to select against disability
Ex. Plug in argument to "pregnant wrestlemania"
What's the difference between the view that disabilities are negative difference makers and the view that disabilities are mere difference makers?
Negative Difference Makers: Disabilities inherently make one more
likely to have a lower overall quality of life
Mere Difference Makers: Only affect local QOL
What's the difference between overall quality of life and local quality of life?
Local quality of life (local harm): Certain
Overall quality of life (overall harm): All things considered, your life will be worse off
What is the Negative Difference Maker Argument?
Premise 1: Disabilities make life harder
Premise 2: If disabilities make life harder, then disabilities decrease quality of life
Conclusion: Disabilities are negative difference makers; they decrease overall quality of life
What is Barnes's reply to the Negative Difference Maker Argument?
Premise 2 is ambiguous; doesn't specify local or overall quality of
1. If P1*, then disabilities decrease local quality of life. Assuming this is the true premise, then the argument is invalid. Conclusion doesn't follow from premise 2. Talks about overall quality of life
2. If P1**, then disabilities decrease overall quality of life. Assuming this is the true premise, then the argument is valid. If this is the case, Barnes's argues that we should think the second premise is false since disabled people testify that being disabled is not a negative difference maker.
Exceptions include chronic pain, nausea, or other long term unpleasant feelings.
What is Barnes's reply to the worry that her account permits parents to let their children develop disabilities by not treating their illnesses?
Parents have the duty to prevent substantial or severe local harms to
Footnote: it is ok to inflict local harm in order to prevent even larger harm (surgery)
What is Barnes's reply to the worry that her account suggests that parents may be obligated to select against homosexuality if society treats homosexuals poorly enough?
Barnes would say that protecting their life is more important than their sexuality
What is Barnes's reply to the worry that her account suggests that parents may be obligated to select against disabilities that lead to substantial/severe harms?
Barnes believes parents only have duties to children who exist
What's the Prejudice Objection to selecting against disability?
Selecting against disability expresses/is the result of prejudice
against people who are disabled.
Prejudiced against the disabled =
1. Giving less weight to the interests of people who are disabled
2. Having an unreasonable dislike for people who are disabled
McMahan offers a reply to the Prejudice Objection. What response might one offer to McMahan?
Selecting against disability needn't be the result of
Ex. 1 selecting for brown eyes
Barnes's response: Selecting against disability needn't be the result of prejudice, but in most/likely/realistic cases it will be
What's Malek's general reply to the Prejudice Objection?
Having a negative evaluation of a trait does not entail being prejudiced against people who have that trait
How does the analogy between being disabled and being in pain support Malek's reply?
Negative evaluation of being in pain does not entail giving less
weight to the interests of people in pain, nor an unreasonable dislike
for people in pain.
Therefore, a negative evaluation of being disabled is not the same as giving less weight to the interests of people who are disabled or an unreasonable dislike for them
How does the analogy between being disabled and being homosexual potentially tell against Malek's reply?
Barnes's reply "A negative evaluation of being homosexual does
not entail giving less weight to the interests of homosexuals, nor an
unreasonable dislike for them".
Doesn't seem reasonable
What is the Same Number Same Quality Principle (QP)?
All else being equal, in same number cases, you should pick the option that leads to the highest average well-being
What is the Argument Against Well-Being Lowering (WBL)-Disability Selection?
Premise 1: QP
Premise 2: Selecting WBL - disability child over a "normal" child lowers the average well-being
Conclusion: You should not select a WBL - disability child over a "normal" child
What is the Argument Against Goat Selection?
Premise 1: QP
Premise 2: Selecting for a goat over a "normal" child lowers average well-being
Conclusion: You should not select a goat over a child
What is the first dilemma Greene and Augello raise (regarding these two arguments)?
It is hard to accept the first argument without also accepting the second: GA reject QP (and reject both arguments)
What is the Everworse Continuum Greene and Augello consider?
Through small incremental changes, a higher being could change a
"normal" human child into a goat.
Each little increment from start (S) to end (E) lowers well-being.
At certain points, the human child (S) will shift to a hybrid (D), and eventually a goat (E).
What is the second dilemma Greene and Augello raise (regarding the Everworse Continuum)?
Intuition #1: It is wrong to choose D over S
Intuition #2: It is ok to choose E over S
GA Dilemma #2: It seems intuitions 1 and 2 are in tension
Three Responses: Reject Intuition #1; Reject Intuition #2; Try to reconcile intuitions #1 and #2
What does Thomson take to be the implicit argument from "a fetus has a full right to life" to the conclusion "abortion is impermissible"?
Premise 1: A fetus has a full right to life to be violated if it is
Premise 2: A woman has the right to decide what happens to and in her body to be violated if she is denied abortion
Premise 3: The right to life trumps the right to bodily autonomy
Conclusion: The woman should be denied the right to an abortion
What is Thomson's criticism of the implicit argument?
"a fetus has a full right to life" -> "abortion is impermissible"
P1 - Does not agree but initially grants that this is true
P2 - Thomson accepts this
P3 - Need to delve deeper: consider the Violinist Argument - permissible to unplug, therefore P3 is not tru
What are some of Thomson's arguments by analogy for the claim that it's permissible for a woman to have an abortion if she'll die if she carries the fetus to term?
Ex. Expanding baby
Plug into violinist analogy - Permissible
What is Thomson's arguments by analogy for the claim that it's permissible for a woman to have an abortion if she's pregnant due to rape?
Violinist Argument - Permissible
What are some of Thomson's arguments by analogy for the claim that it's permissible for a woman to have an abortion if she's pregnant due to consensual sex?
if you leave your window open and a burglar comes in, you are now responsible for him
What does consent have to be like to be morally relevant?
Assuming informed, competent, and uncoerced consent
What are some different notions of consent (or "consent"), and what does each correspond to?
Explicit consent: To agree and to state your agreement
Implicit consent: Agreement without a statement of consent
Rule of thumb: if you had asked the person, they would have explicitly consented
Implied "consent": To behave in ways that suggest agreement according to well-known social norms
What's the Consent Argument against abortion (in cases of pregnancy due to consensual sex)? (Feinberg)
Premise 1: If a woman has consensual sex, she consents to carry a
fetus to term if she becomes pregnant
Premise 2: If a woman consents to carry a fetus to term, she is obligated to do so
Conclusion: If a woman has consensual sex, she's obligated to carry the fetus to term if she gets pregnant
What worries one might raise for the Consent Argument?
Premise 1 is false in explicit and implicit consent
Ex. abortion as a birth control
Premise 2 is false in implied "consent"
Ex. pants = slave society
What's the Negligence Argument against abortion (in cases of pregnancy due to consensual sex)?
Premise 1: If you have consensual sex and get pregnant, you are
(partially) causally responsible for the fetus being dependent on
Premise 2: To the extent to which you are causally responsible for someone being dependent on you, you're morally responsible for helping them
Conclusion: If you have consensual sex and get pregnant, you are (partially) morally responsible for helping the fetus
According to Feinberg, what kinds of situations make you morally responsible enough to be obligated to carry a fetus to term?
Having sex with no contraception makes you completely responsible, and having a baby despite using contraception makes you partially responsible
What worries does Boonin raise for the Negligence Argument?
P1 of the negligence argument is ok but premise 2 is false
Ex. Violinist + doctor discovery: doctor finds cure to heart disease which increases life expectancy by a year but kills the violinist from renal failure
If you switch "being dependent on you" with "being worse off", then:
P2 is ok but P1 is not; the fetus doesn't exist yet
What is the argument for child support?
Premise 1: Parents are obligated to make reasonable sacrifices for
the well-being of their (rights-having) offspring (larger)
Premise 2: A child is a rights-having offspring of a parent
Premise 3: Paying 18 years of child support is a reasonable sacrifice
Conclusion: Parents are obligated to pay child support
What is the argument for fetus support?
Premise 1*: Parents are obligated to make reasonable sacrifices for
the well-being of their (rights-having) offspring (larger)
Premise 2*: A fetus is a rights-having offspring of a mother
Premise 3*: Carrying a fetus to term is a reasonable sacrifice
Conclusion: Mothers are obligated to carry fetuses to term
What are the different options for responding to the argument for the fetus support? (And what are some of the pros and cons of each?)
Option 1 (Feinberg): Accept all premises except P2*
Note - Requires giving up Thomson's argument
Option 2 (Boonin): Accept all except P3*; Ex. Financial taxes vs bodily taxes
Note - Need to draw a principled moral distinction between financial and bodily burdens
Option 3: Accept all premises, but deny that paying fetus support and child support together is a reasonable sacrifice
Note - Requires mothers to carry fetuses to term, but only fathers are required to pay child support
Option 4 (Pavlischek): Accept all Ps of both arguments
Question - Should there be a rape exception? Could argue that P3* goes false
Ex. Abusive husband exception? Olympic fencer exception?
Note - Hard to allow a rape exception without allowing other exceptions too
Option 5 (Thomson) Accept all Ps except P1/P1
Thomson states that parents don't have any special obligations to their children which they don't adopt voluntarily; ex. biological vs adopted
Note - If father never wanted, then father isn't obligated to pay child support