Contemporary neurology has few ripostes to the most puzzling questions about personality and brain disorder, historical neurology even fewer. We fantasize they do despite the evidence against the position – one reason I held out for the metaphoric profile in my last, as it offers at least inroads to selfhood through the production and consumption of narrative.
But I would never advocate the suspension of one (neurology) or the other (narrative). I want both: a position that has been around at least since the High Enlightenment. To be human is to act and then demonstrate consciousness of the self’s actions and its consequences; to put matter into motion and then use language to gain some type of awareness of the process. The combination advances understanding of selfhood better than either one alone.