Re: There's more to me than memories...

From: Oskar Lissheim-Boethius (
Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 10:19:20 MDT

On 12 mar 2008, at 16.44, "Heartland" <> wrote:

>>> Why do you believe preservation of memories is important in the
>>> first place?
> Stuart:
>> Partially because of what happens when memories are lost; alzhimer
>> patients and amnesiacs are most definetly not the same person they
>> were.
> But isn't it true that "lost memories" were the main criterion by
> which Alzheimer patients were judged in the statement above to be
> "not the same person"? If so, then it seems like you're saying that
> memories are important because those who lose memories are not the
> same persons precisely because they lost memories. Could you explain
> why lost memories make you a different person without assuming that
> lost memories make you a different person?
> Slawek

Isn't a common view of what constitutes a "person"; that she is what
she does, either conciously or subconciously? Isn't what we are what
our actions define us as being--at least in the sense of how _other
people_ percieve us--in the same sense as we, quite literally, are
what we eat?

If you accept this reasoning, then what constitutes a "person"--whose
everyday actions in the social realm are defined by learned, concious,
but mostly unconscious behaviors--is lost when our memories are lost.

What defines "lost" in this case (could memories be retrieved? is
there a difference between memories lost due to physical, rather than
psychical, damage?) is a whole other--and fantastically interesting--


Oskar Lissheim-Boethius

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