Though at one point in history, the rights of those who were in the face of a disability were often overlooked due to the belief of their ‘inferiority’. Those with a disability were not seen to be humans of equal value as they were illustrated to be, by default ‘flawed’. However, living in this day and age with the progression of fundamental human rights, we find it to be quite absurd that any individual would lack even the simplest humanity in depriving another of their right as an equal. However, though there is the progression of human rights, it’s as if an equilibrium has not been found but rather surpassed.
However, as mentioned in The Cases of Oliver Sacks: The Ethics of neuroanthropology, there are many critics of the works of Oliver Sacks. It is common of critics to argue that “Sacks selects human oddities, presents them to us, directs out attention (at least at first) to what makes them strange, interprets them, and then returns us to a world of reassuring ‘normality’” (pg. 3). Many critics possess a phenomenon in which they believe that in providing a person with a disability with the rights of every individual, one must tip-toe around the factors that make them ‘odd’ or set them apart from that of the general public. Yet, with Sacks analysis of these oddities, it brings attention to the vast characteristics that set human beings apart and displays light to how these oddities don’t derive the ‘human’ from one’s being. With individuals constantly striving to rightfully bring attention to how people of disabilities are of equal human being, their sensitivity towards Sack’s analysis makes one feel as if discussing ‘oddities’ which are what shape an individual’s identity, are in fact factors to set them apart by.
Though my position on this topic is not in equal standing to that taken by most individuals of today’s society, I believe that in providing the disabled with the equality we all strive to implement, one must come to terms with their ‘oddities’. With sensitivity towards the study of an individual with a disability, it shines inferiority upon their status as a human being, for the study of a ‘normal’ individual is never criticized, rather is seen as a human advancement. An individual’s disability that sets them apart from that of an individual without that disability, should be embraced and seen as another form of ‘normal’, and in doing such one must analyze a disability through the research of neuro-anthropology that Sack’s has undertaken.