The Norm___ and the Pathological

Kevin Gotkin

Abstract


In this paper, I read The Normal and the Pathological by French philosopher Georges Canguilhem for what it can offer disability theory. I examine how the field has already taken up the text but further, I argue for The Normal and the Pathological as a keystone of disability theory (currently taken up with curiously reserved energy). I start with a précis on the text before offering a condensed citation analysis of the book. In the latter part of the paper, I suggest how the monograph might inform current conversations and I offer possibilities for it to deepen and complicate core notions about disability, including the social model, norms, normalcy, and the normate. I conclude by suggesting that Canguilhem’s philosophical intervention can be understood as "propulsive atavism" – an excavation of medical epistemology in order to map and reconfigure its legacies – and I propose this as one methodological template for disability scholarship.


Keywords


disability theory; philosophy of medicine; methodology; normalcy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v36i1.4281

Copyright (c) 2016 Kevin Gotkin



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

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