Key Principles

Without a knowledge of the history of the ideas associated with learning disability, it is impossible to understand the objective social framework that confronts “people with learning disabilities”: eugenics, elimination, segregation, labelling, stereotyping, discrimination, physical and mental abuse, neglect, and prejudice.

Without a knowledge of the history of ideas, it is impossible to involve oneself effectively in the kinds of activity that can change those everyday practices and broader policies (administrative, political, economic) in a way that benefits all of us.

Without being involved in such activity, at a direct personal level or through a specific moral/intellectual commitment, it is impossible either to give to the history of ideas about learning disability the scholarly foundation that other fields of enquiry take for granted, or to obtain a critical perspective on it.


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