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The Woman Who Forgot Who She Was

Episode 2 of 5

Dr Paul Broks continues his detective hunt in search of the self. In this episode, he considers a woman with amnesia, and asks if we are nothing more than our memories.

Neuropsychologist Dr Paul Broks continues his detective hunt in search of the self. Today he considers a woman with amnesia, and asks: are we nothing more than our memories? The philosopher John Locke argued this position, and it makes a kind of intuitive sense. But talking to amnesia experts, he discovers that even people with severe memory loss often still retain their personalities; and that even people who seem to have forgotten everything about themselves may still have retained highly developed skills. And, would we really be happy for our memories to be transplanted into another body and have this one destroyed?

Presenter: Paul Broks
Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.

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12 minutes