Hilary Lawson’s Story

John had a condition called visual agnosia, which is the inability to recognize anything or distinguish perfectly ordinary objects. He wrote the book, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, which goes in to more depth about his condition, which is rare and unusual. “It was the 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant who first argued that experience was not merely the product of sensation but the result of combining sensation and interpretation”. Recorded cases of the condition, visual agnosia, implied that he was right. Everyone needs to have form and order to categorize this world we live in, and to have such a disability like John’s must be difficult. To simply imagine having a condition of such kind brings me discomfort. Every day we are using our senses without acknowledging the fact of how lucky and blessed we are to have the ability to taste, smell, touch, hear, and see the world we live in even when we don’t notice it. People out there, for instance John, have been stripped of some of those abilities. Sometimes we can take what we have for granted and not mean to. I couldn’t imagine how scary it would be to walk around and not know where you are 24.7. I would have multiple fears constantly running through my brain. His story is real living proof of that we are privileged to have what we have.

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