SELF, HISTORY AND A GERMAN PSYCHIATRIST
The amazing Bernadette Roberts (b. 1931, an existentialist-philosopher, psychologist and theologian), tells the following anecdote:
“Some food for thought: Some time ago, listening to the quiz show Jeopardy, one of the questions was:
“What is the name of the German psychiatrist who had a patient say to him, “Doctor, I have no self?”
No one on the panel knew the answer – which turned out to be “Doctor Alois Alzheimer”.
For people who want to get rid of their “self” at least, Alzheimer’s might be one way to go.”
Here are some thoughts for historians, physicians and other academics.
Is the “self” nothing but a sum total of past memories?
Can a human being without a “self”, survive physically?
Is there a “self” in the absence of memory?
Can there be a leader without a “self”?
Would there be human “history” if persons will not have each an individual “self”?
Are leaders who have an over-sized “self” narcissistic by default?
What form will civilization take if Alzheimer’s disease will transform into a contagious epidemic?