Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Second Phase:"I think therefore I am."-Descartes

In the next stage of SDAT the disease continues on its rampage of well-targeted destruction in the temporal lobe. During this time is when the subject will begin to have trouble grasping words. Subjects will find it difficult, and frustrating when trying to express themselves verbally, as well as understanding the words spoken to them (Callone). It is around this time when the family members begin to feel the intensity of the coming gravity of the disease.

Like anything else, the symptoms of this stage of the disease will vary from person to person.  Some subjects may find that they are able to speak relatively fluent, but it is indiscernible for the others around them. Others could just have issues finding the “right” word occasionally, but for the most part be able to communicate effectively. (Long).  
This is where the “arbitrary nature of the sign” comes into play, Saussure states:
The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary. Since I mean by sign the whole that results from the associating of the signifier with the signified, I can simple say: the linguistic sign is arbitrary. The idea of "sister" is not linked by any inner relationship to the succession of sounds s-o-r which serves as its signifier in French: that it could be represented equally by just any other sequence is proved by differences among languages and by the very existence of different languages: the signified "ox" has as its signifier b-o-f on one side of the border and o-k-s on the other (Saussure principal 1).

In Saussure’s theory he makes the point that the referent is not inherent or intrinsic to the word. And by the supposition we can argue that regardless of the ability of the second party to understand the STAD subject, meaning can still be made, even if it is only constructed by the subject themselves. Thusly, we can surmise that at this stage there is still a narrative continuing within the patient, even if that narrative does not follow a linear evolution. So I ask from the POV of the subject, does it make a difference in the subjects reality if the others around them can understand? At this point the subject has lost the ability to construct a linear narrative, so they are unaware at most times of the reality that is going on outside their own minds. They no longer live in the world of linear narratives, things are metonymic, shifting moment to moment. The subjects are also unable to communicate with others, but it is supposed that they are communicating clearly in their reality. If they are still forming ideas, opinions and experiencing feelings, then we can only conclude that they are living in reality, just not our reality. One cannot put it as well as Descartes: “I think therefore I am.”

1 comment:

  1. You know, I am starting to think that this project is actually about using Alzheimer's to illuminate theory (rather than the other way around). What if this blog were designed for theory students, to help them use a real-world situation to understand the abtract philosophies of folks like Saussure and Descartes and Baudrillard?