In this blog entry, I will discuss very briefly two related and controversial questions that, in my view, arise from the neurodiversity perspective: first, whether neurodiversity has an organic basis, and secondly, whether it is a significant factor regarding responsibility for one’s actions.
Many neurodiversity activists argue that, for example, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are real conditions, with an organic basis (while some neurodiversity/anti-psychiatry activists say exactly the opposite). Autism, for example, is a matter of different form of brain wiring, something that is very much real and has consequences to one’s behavior. In this respect, neurodiversity has a somewhat different outlook on disability than disability studies perspective, which emphasizes primarily the social nature of the definition of bodily and mental differences. Some scholars and thinkers representing a ‘postmodern’ viewpoint go as far as questioning the definite reality of impairment: everything’s socially constructed, so it makes no sense to talk about impairments as ‘real entities’ that exist independently of our interpretations about them. Continue reading