My cousin is paralyzed from a car accident from decades ago. She is perceived to be just as she always was, just in a wheel chair. When she is seen or heard, the people around her perceive Jessica; a who, right?
I have an aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease and is in a nursing home. I have heard people talking about her and they have stated that she does not know anybody and does not know who she is. I have heard it said; that is not Aunt Gail, I do not know who that is, but it is not Gail; still a who right???
I have heard folks describing family members with Alzheimer’s disease as a shell of what they used to be, like the bodies ability to recall data makes them who they are.
It is no wonder, when we see a paraplegic, we see a who in a wheel chair, but when we see someone that cannot remember anything; not who they are or who they were, they invariably begin to be perceived to be a what (shell), rather than a who; “I do not know what that is, but it is not so and so”.
So my question is this; is my capacity and functionality to process data in a way that is recognized, make me a who and if I can no longer process the data on my hard drive, does that make me a what; just a shell of a human being?
If our memories do not make us who we are, then does that not leave us as a what, trying to be a who?