Understanding Humanity Essay by xiotisa

Understanding Humanity
A philosophical essay about the nature of personality, emotions and free will.
# 67965 | 1,880 words | 1 source | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Jul 26, 2006 in Philosophy (Science) , Philosophy (General)

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This paper attempts to understand the nature of personality, emotions and free will by studying neurological disorders. The author asserts that understanding these disorders can shed light on the elements of human life that are ordinarily unreachable. The paper refers extensively to the story "Cupid's Disease" in the book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sacks, about a senior citizen suffering from the effects of neurosyphilis. By quoting from this book, the paper attempts to address life's fundamental philosophical questions, including: Is personality biologically determined? What controls our emotions? and Do human beings have free will?

From the Paper:

"In modern times, philosophy no longer exists merely in the mind as scholars are able to link fundamental concepts to contemporary issues. In studying philosophy of mind and psychology, questions concerning the nature of self can be examined through the science of neurology and similar fields. By investigating the nature of various neurological disorders, philosophers can address issues that would otherwise be extremely hard to research. In his book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks narrates the case histories of patients he has found to be lost in the abyss of neurological disorders. From these studies of human life struggling against bizarre impairments, philosophical and empirical investigations can be considered. In order to expand on the study of the nature of self I will consider a particular case in which the subject herself noticed a change in personality that Dr. Sacks discovered to be a result of neurosyphilis."

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