Born with cerebral palsy, Alexandre Jollien grew up in a home for the severely disabled, where, as he laconically notes, “rolling cigars” was his “professional horizon.” But then, completely by chance, he discovered philosophy, and his life was changed forever. Against all odds, he succeeded in completing secondary education and enrolled at the Université de Fribourg. While studying abroad at Trinity College, Dublin, he met his future wife, with whom he has three children. He published his first book — In Praise of Weakness — at the age of twenty-two, and has since established himself as a profound and compelling moral thinker and spiritual teacher. Not only is he the first and only congenitally severely disabled thinker in the history of philosophy, but he is also the first original philosopher to have consistently reflected on what it means to be born and live with disability not as an insurmountable obstacle but as a source of strength and creative energy.
The first and only major philosopher in history to be born with cerebral palsy, A. JOLLIEN tells the story of how he grew up in a home for the severely disabled and was destined to roll cigars; how he found philosophy, which changed his life forever, helping him to confront his fate, endow it with meaning, and - against all odds - turn his disability into a source of strength and creative energy.