Febuary 9th 2011
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was written by Oliver Sacks who is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Sacks writes about his studies of a man named Dr. P who has an unusual brain disorder. Sacks tries to figure out what is exactly wrong with Dr. P and prescribe him with something that can help him; but he can’t seem to figure out what will help Dr. P. His only solution is to prescribe him with “a life which consists entirely of music. Music has been the center; now make it the whole, of your life” (Sacks 688). Dr. P’s main problem is that he has lost judgment in his life which Sacks is scared will affect his way of living. Sacks prescribed a life of music to Dr. P because of the emotional value and potential for Dr. P to support himself in a “normal” judgement- based world.
The definition of judgment is the evaluation of evidence in the making of a decision. In this case the informal and psychological definition is used in reference to the quality of cognitive faculties and adjudication capabilities of particular individuals, typically called wisdom or discommends. If you lose judgment you lose your ability to make decisions for your own. Without being able to make decisions you can’t do very many things without the help of someone always their guiding you. Dr. P did have his wife there to help him but what really got him through his life was the music. While observing Dr. P Sacks followed Dr. P’s wife into the kitchen to ask her how her husband can get through the day and she says “He does everything singing to himself. But if he is interrupted and loses the thread, he comes to a complete stop, doesn’t know his clothes – or his own body. He sings all the time – eating songs, dressing songs, bath songs, everything. He can’t do anything unless he makes it a song” (Sacks 687). That is why I think Sacks suggested...
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