Disability and Justice



Historically, philosophers have had little to say about justice and disability. However, in recent years and in response to disability rights movements, philosophers have started to consider the claims to justice of persons with mental and physical impairments. Importantly, some have charged that without extensive revision, social contract accounts of justice – which enjoy immense popularity among political philosophers – cannot address the needs and interests of persons with disabilities. In this article, I explain why social contract accounts are thought to flounder when it comes to justice for persons with disabilities. Then I assess the merits of recent attempts to construct theories of justice inclusive of persons with disabilities. In particular, I consider Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, Kittay’s justice as caring, and various restatements of the social contract.