"You" Are Speech?

Besides being a tool for communication, this story at Nautilus makes an important point about what speech does.

A new documentary film called "Speechless" documents how three people stricken with Aphoria have coped with this intimate disorder, which renders its victims unable to process language effectively, generally as a result of stroke.

Tinna Geula Phillips, one of the subjects of the film, could speak six languages prior to her stroke in 1997. Nautilus:

But one of the most profound effects was losing the ability to speak with herself. Her inner monologue disappeared for several months, leaving her unable to process her own thoughts in what is considered a psychologically 'normal' way. The ability to converse with one’s self, known as 'self-talk,' or 'inner speech,' is essential for conceptualizing our emotions, processing our memories, and for predicting the future. It is inherently associated with our sense of self.

Whether internal or external, speech compiles and makes sense of the datum provided by our eyes and ears and hands and nose. Given this executive role, I'm surprised I had never thought of individual identity being tied to it, particularly given my interest in philosophy of mind, which is briefly mentioned in the Nautilus piece, and that my faith tradition makes clear that "I" am what regularly comes out of my mouth.

Watch the film trailer if you get the chance.

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Wayne