A Few of Quotes on Memory.

“If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.”

“And so was Luria, whose words now came back to me: ‘A man does not consist of memory alone. He has feeling, will, sensibility, moral being … It is here … you may touch him, and see a profound change.’ Memory, mental activity, mind alone, could not hold him; but moral attention and action could hold him completely.”

“But humanly, spiritually, he is at times a different man altogether—no longer fluttering, restless, bored, and lost, but deeply attentive to the beauty and “soul” of the world, rich in all the Kierkegaardian categories—the aesthetic, the moral, the religious, the dramatic. I had wondered, when I first met him, if he were not condemned to a sort of “Humean” froth, a meaningless fluttering on the surface of life, and whether there was any way of transcending the incoherence of his Humean disease. Empirical science told me there was not—but empirical science, empiricism, takes no account of the soul, no account of what constitutes and determines personal being. Perhaps there is a philosophical as well as a clinical lesson here: that in Korsakov’s, or dementia, or other such catastrophes, however great the organic damage and Humean dissolution, there remains the undiminished possibility of reintegration by art, by communion, by touching the human spirit: and this can be preserved in what seems at first a hopeless state of neurological devastation.”

Taken from Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales.

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1 Response to A Few of Quotes on Memory.

  1. Louise says:

    At last, sooemne comes up with the “right” answer!

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