The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

Sacks, Oliver

Summit, 1985

p. 119

For the Scottish philosopher David Hume “personal identity is a fiction—we do not exist, we are but a consecution of sensations, or perceptions. This is clearly not the case with a normal human being, because he owns his own perceptions. They are not a mere flux, but his own, united by an abiding individuality or self. But what Hume describes may be precisely the case for a being as unstable as a super-turetter, whose life is, to some extent, a consecution of random or convulsive perceptions and motions, a phantasmagoric fluttering with no center or sense. To this extent he is a “Humean” rather than a human being. This is the philosophical, almost theological, fate which lies in wait if the ratio of impulse to self is too overwhelming.”