Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr Erinn Gilson

Second Advisor

Dr Alyssa Swota

Third Advisor

Dr Andrew Buchwalter

Department Chair

Dr Mitchell Haney

College Dean

Dr Barbara A. Hetrick


This thesis addresses questions relating to perceptions of abilities and abnormalities found in everyday life. Abilities in this paper range from a total lack of ability to function in extreme disability to a level of ability expected by society to enhanced and radically enhanced abilities and their place in the realm of abnormality. We begin by establishing the differences between abilities and enhancements. Following this is a discussion regarding the ethical concerns of human enhancement. After this we turn to a discussion of abnormality and the social experience of abnormality. These discussions lead into establishing a basis for how many abilities are considered abnormal. This is then followed by a discussion that specifically addresses whether or not individuals who voluntarily undergo non-therapeutic enhancement may be subject to oppressive measures.