Disability and Happiness
In: Minority Reports. Cultural Disability Studies, 2018
Scientific literature has often struggled to believe that a person with disability can be happy. When the empirical evidence seemed to support this possibility, the term “disability paradox” was invented to explain this improbable condition. The article traces the development of this thought in scientific literature trying to underline its inconsistencies and highlighting how often common sense more than scientific rigor seems to guide research work in this field of analysis. Nothing prevents a person with a disability from being happy both form the hedonic and eudaimonic perspectives. However, at the same time, nothing assures that this happens with the rest of humanity. Following the analysis of Reinders we support the idea that a life story provides the hermeneutical context within which agent-relative capabilities and happiness can be discovered and realized.
Keywords: disability; happiness; disability paradox; hedonic adaptation; quality of life.