Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Natural Deficiency or Social Oppression? The Capabilities Approach to Justice for People with Disabilities

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

Theories of distributive justice are often criticised for either excluding people with disabilities from the domain of justice altogether, or casting them as deficient in personal attributes. I argue that the capabilities approach to justice is largely immune to these flaws. It has the conceptual resources to locate most of the causes of disadvantage in the interaction between a person and her environment and in doing so can characterise the disadvantages of disability in a way that avoids the imputation of natural deficiency. However, I also argue that the capabilities approach cannot accommodate some of the stronger claims advanced by some disability scholars. No plausible capabilities approach can guarantee that social change will always be the just or fair remedy for disadvantage, and there is a small number of severe cases of disability where capability shortfalls will be attributed to the person’s ‘deficient’ physical and mental impairments.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Monash University Clayton, Vic, 3800, Australia,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Moral Philosophy — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation