Thomas Crawley


The Bad-Difference View (BDV) of disability says, roughly, that disability makes one worse off. The Mere-Difference View (MDV) of disability says, roughly, that it doesn’t. In recent work, Barnes – a MDV proponent – offers a detailed exposition of the MDV. No BDV proponent has done the same. While many thinkers make it clear that they endorse a BDV, they don’t carefully articulate their view. In this paper, I clarify the nature of the BDV. I argue that its best interpretation is probabilistic and comparative: it is the view that a person is likely to be, all things considered, worse off with a disability than without. As such, Barnes – who criticises the version of the BDV that disability by itself, intrinsically or automatically makes a person worse off – misses an opportunity to attack the most plausible and relevant version of the BDV, and the best version remains unchallenged.