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By Henri-Jacques Stiker, William Sayers

The expanding numbers of students, policy-makers, and political activists who're curious about questions of actual and cognitive incapacity will warmly welcome Henri-Jacques Stiker's publication, the 1st to aim to supply a framework for examining incapacity in the course of the a while. released in 1997 in France as Corps infirmes et soci?t?s and on hand now in a superb English translation, the e-book strains the heritage of western cultural responses to incapacity, from precedent days to the current. during this quantity, Stiker examines a primary factor in modern Western discourse on incapacity: the cultural assumption that equality/sameness/similarity is usually wanted by way of these in society. He highlights the results of this kind of frame of mind, illustrating the intolerance of range and individualism that arises from putting such significance on equality. Importantly, Stiker doesn't hesitate to say his personal stance at the matters he discusses: that distinction isn't just applicable, yet that it truly is fascinating, that it is vital. the writer is going past anecdotal heritage to traverse a bit recognized historical past, penetrating to the guts of collective attitudes and reflecting on components of coverage. The sweep is vast; from a rereading and reinterpretation of the Oedipus fable to present laws concerning disablity, he proposes an analytical heritage that demonstrates how societies display themselves via their attitudes in the direction of incapacity, every now and then in unforeseen methods, because the examine of element is frequently the easiest access into the total of a tradition. The ebook may be of curiosity to students of incapacity, historians, social scientists, cultural anthropologists, and those that are intrigued via the position that tradition performs within the improvement of language and inspiration surrounding the disabled. Henri-Jacques Stiker is Director of analysis and member of the dept of the heritage and Civilization of Western Societies, college of Paris VII.

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I should like to make it plain once and for all that this book has not been written in favor of one kind of medicine as against another kind of medicine, or against medicine and in favor of an absence of medicine. It is a structural study that sets out to disentangle the conditions of its history from the density of discourse, as do others of my works. (The Birth of the Clinic [New York: Random House, 1994], xix, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith, from Naissance de la clinique [Paris: Presses Univer- sitaires de la France, 1963], xv) After distancing myself from any personal position, however, I will cover ground where Foucault chose not to go in his first works.

We illuminate a question better by following its development through time than by trying to fix it in a false eternal moment. Can we take a photograph of all the photos and a photograph of all the movements of our child? We know her better by looking at her often and under differing circumstances than by trying to capture her in so privileged a fashion that it becomes an illusion. )-from the hard evidence, if I may use the phrase-that a dominant point of view is not possible. There is no history of thought outside the history of systems of thought.

This may seem banal, because this division of things is so often to be found. But, as I shall demonstrate, this is no longer true in our society, where the natural is not primarily the condition of being integral but that of being integrable. This will become the new social naturalness. It is no less true that what a society calls natural is a relative cultural datum. But The Bible and Disability 33 this idea of integrity, which the Bible shares with many other early societies, is situated on the ethical-religious level.

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