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Alexandre Jollien - Philosopher and Award Winning Author with Cerebral Palsy

What is Normal Anyway?


Updated October 10, 2010

"'Normal' is a useful word for medicine and psychology, but otherwise it is too abstract. When we decide what's 'normal' and what's 'not normal', it could be very dangerous." - Alexandre Jollien

Can you imagine what it would feel like to have a brilliant mind but be trapped in an institution, in large part because of society's inability to accept people with differences from what is often considered 'normal'? Philosopher and award winning author Alexandre Jollien, who has cerebral palsy spent much of his life in an institution in Switzerland. Jollien's work, Éloge de la faiblesse (1999)was an indictment of society's views on disability and challenges us to understand that the limitations on individuals are largely a product of discriminatory mindsets.

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