Sacks The Lost Mariner

Oliver Sacks “The Lost Mariner”

  1. Memory, time and the self. Experiencing consciousness seems to need to retain trace of past experiences to build up for itself a sense of personhood. How to characterize the connection between continuity (coherence) and identity.
  2. Two forms of retention: the distant past and the immediate past. So, “now” seems to require context of both the “just before” and the “forever before” to be meaninful, or perhaps we should say: for the achievement of coherence.
  3. How does a deficit in past-having affect the possibility of future-having?
  4. Could we say that the doctor in “The Lost Mariner” traveled in time when he was talking to the Jimmy G. of 1945? Whose time was the right time? Both are embedded in “world time,” but where “is” Jimmie? Or rather, when is he?
  5. Another patient, Mr. Thompson (“A Matter of Identity”), is reduced to a succession of Nows – what is missing? What does he still have.
  6. All this points us toward the importance of temporality in human being-in-the-world. Last time we rather abstractly defined it as the subjective experience of time. Could we be more specific now?