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Abstract: The received view of multiple personality disorder (MPD) presupposes a form of realism, according to which the 'secondary personality' is an independent conscious entity joined to the psyche of the host. The received view of MPD is endorsed by the majority of psychologists, as are the major diagnostic criteria for MPD. Realism of this type, gives rise to a certain problem concerning the personal identity of the secondary personality, namely, who this individual is. It is argued that three broad answers to the Question of Who in the context of MPD have been proposed in the history of psychology and psychiatry: psychological realism (Janet and the Dissociationist School); psychological anti-realism (Freud and the Psychoanalytic School), and neural realism (Wigan, Sperry and Gazzaniga). These views are examined. In addition, the relationship of the Question of Who to the traditional problem of personal identity is examined. It is argued that philosophers such as Locke, Reid and Parfit have either overlooked or presupposed the Question of Who
Abstract: Many contemporary bioethicists claim that the possession of certain psychological properties is sufficient for having full moral status. I will call this thepsychological approach to full moral status. In this paper, I argue that there is a significant tension between the psychological approach and a widely held model of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, formerly Multiple Personality Disorder). According to this model, the individual personalities or alters that belong to someone with DID possess those properties that proponents of the psychological approach claim suffice for full moral status. If this account of DID is true, then the psychological approach to full moral status seems to entail that the two standard therapies for treating DID might, on occasion, be seriously immoral, for they may well involve the (involuntary) elimination of an entity with full moral status. This result should give proponents of the psychological approach pause, for most people find the claim that current treatments of DID are ethically suspect highly counter-intuitive
Abstract: If personal identity consists in non-branching psychological continuity, then the sharp breaks in psychological connectedness characteristic of Multiple Personality Disorder implicitly commit psychological continuity theories to a metaphysically extravagant reification of alters. Animalist theories of personal identity avoid the reification of alternate personalities by interpreting multiple personality as a failure to integrate alternative autobiographical memory schemata. In the normal case, autobiographical memory cross-classifies a human life, and in so doing provides access to a variety of interpretative frameworks with their associated clusters of general event memory and episodic memory. Multiples exhibit erratic behavior because they cannot access reliably the intersecting autobiographical memory schemata that permit graceful transitions between social roles, behavioral repertoire and emotional dispositions. Selves, in both normal and certain pathological cases, are best understood as semi-fictional narratives created by human animals to serve their social, emotional and physical needs
Flanagan, Owen J. (1994). Multiple identity, character transformation, and self-reclamation. In George Graham & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Philosophical Psychopathology. MIT Press. (Cited by 11 | Google)
Abstract: This paper outlines a multidimensional conception of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) that differs from the 'orthodox' conception in terms of the content of its commitment to the reality of the self. Unlike the orthodox conception it recognizes that selves are fuzzy entities. By appreciating the possibility that selves are fuzzy entities, it is possible to rebut a form of fictionalism about the self which appeals to clinical data from MPD. Realism about self can be preserved in the face of multiple personalities
Gunnarsson, Logi (2010). Philosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple Personality. Routledge. (Google)
Abstract: Introduction -- Am I alone in my body? -- Multiple personality -- Personal identity -- Diachronic identity -- What am I fundamentally? -- Empirical discernability and fission -- My body -- The various senses of personal identity -- Multiple personality and individuation -- Morton Prince's seminal case study the dissociation of a personality -- Philosophical theories of multiple personality -- The coexistence thesis -- Sharing my body -- A criterion of individuation -- Multiple personality in therapeutic and biographic discourses -- Multiple personality in literary discourses.
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray & Flanagan, Owen J. (1999). Multiplex vs. multiple selves: Distinguishing dissociative disorders.The Monist 82 (4):645-657. (Cited by 3 | Google)
Hinshelwood, R. D. (1995). The social relocation of personal identity as shown by psychoanalytic observations of splitting, projection and introjection.Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 2 (3):185-204. (Google)
Abstract: _Raritan: A Quarterly Review_ , IX, 68-98, Summer 1989. Reprinted (with footnotes), _Occasional Paper #8_ , Center on Violence and Human Survival, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 1991; Daniel Kolak and R. Martin, eds., _Self & Identity: Contemporary Philosophical Issues_ , Macmillan, 1991
Abstract: The condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is metaphysically strange. Can there really be several distinct persons operating in a single body? Our view is that
DID sufferers are single persons with a severe mental disorder. In this paper we compare the phenomenology of dissociation between personality states in DID with certain delusional disorders. We argue both that the
burden of proof must lie with those who defend the metaphysically extravagant Multiple Persons view and that there is little theoretical motivation to yield to that view in light of the fact that the core symptoms of DID bear remarkable similarity to the symptoms of these other disorders where no such extravagance is ever seriously entertained.
Abstract: Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is a condition in which a person appears to possess more than one personality, and sometimes very many. Some recent criminal cases involving defendants with DID have resulted in "not guilty" verdicts, though the defense is not always successful in this regard. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Stephen Behnke have argued that we should excuse DID sufferers from responsibility, only if at the time of the act the person was insane (typically delusional); otherwise the presumption should be that persons with DID are indeed responsible for their actions. We find their interpretation of DID and of the way in which the requirements for criminal insanity relate to this condition worrying and likely to result in injustice to DID sufferers. Our thesis is that persons with DID cannot be responsible for their actions if the usual features of the condition are present. A person with DID is a single person in the grip of a very serious mental disorder. By focusing on the features of DID which have, as we argue, the effect of deluding the patient, we try to show that such a person is unable to fulfill the ordinary conditions of responsible agency (namely, autonomy and self-control)
Abstract: Many of the differences between empirical/psychological and conceptual/philosophical approaches to the mind can be resolved using a more precise language that is sensitive to both. Distinguishing identification from identity and identification as from identification with, and then defining the experiential concept of the per sonat, provides a walking bridge. Applying the new terminology to increasing degrees of dissociation, from non-pathological cases to multiple personality, shows how our psychologies can profit from philosophical analysis while our philosophies can revise themselves according to empirical data. Redefining the psychological structures of persona, personality, and self in terms of an experientially more precise conceptual vocabulary, including the per sonat, avoids the pitfalls of the old approaches and provides insights into the nature of human consciousness that lead both to therapeutic results in psychotherapy and a long-overdue conceptual revision in the philosophy of personal identity. Among the practical conclusions is that for legal purposes MPD should not be considered as a multiple person phenomenon but, rather, as a phenomenon of one person who, simultaneously, is identified as many selves. Among the theoretical conclusions is that a person qua person consists not just in a biology and a psychology but also a philosophy
Abstract: Marya Schechtman argues that psychological continuity accounts of personal identity, as represented by Derek Parfit's account, fail to escape the circularity objection. She claims that Parfit's deployment of quasi-memory (and other quasi-psychological) states to escape circularity implicitly commit us to an implausible view of human psychology. Schechtman suggests that what is lacking here is a coherence condition, and that this is something essential in any account of personal identity. In response to this I argue first that circularity may be escaped using quasi-psychological states even with the addition of the coherence condition. Second, I argue that there is something right about the coherence condition, and a major task of this paper is to identify its proper theoretical role. I do so by reflection on integration therapies for people with multiple personality disorder (MPD). The familiar distinction between the moral and the metaphysical concept of the person is developed alongside such reflection. Connecting these two issues I argue that coherence acts as a normative constraint on accounts of personal identity, but that the normative dimension of personhood is not essential to our notion of a person tout court
Abstract: A striking feature of post-modernism is its distrust of the subject. If the modern period, beginning with Descartes, sought in the subject a source of certainty, an Archimedian point from which all else could be derived, post- modernism has taken the opposite tack. Rather than taking the self as a foundation, it has seen it as founded, as dependent on the accidents which situate consciousness in the world. The same holds for the unity of the subject. Modernity, in its search for a single foundation, held the subject to be an indissoluble unity. Post-modernism’s position, by contrast, is announced by Nietzsche: “The assumption of one single subject is perhaps unnecessary; perhaps it is just as permissible to assume a multiplicity of subjects, whose interaction and struggle is the basis of our thought and our consciousness in general? ...My hypotheses: The subject as multiplicity.” Given this, there is a natural correspondence between the success of post- modernism and the current interest in multiple personality disorder. In the latter, we actually have the experience of a “multiplicity of subjects” in their interaction and struggle. The subject stands there before us “as multiplicity.” It gives us a concrete case, one which raises some of the pressing questions associated with the post-modern denial of the subject. Confronting it, we ask: how real are the personalities composing the multiplicity of this disordered self? What, in fact, does this multiplicity tell us about the self? about its genesis and status? What does it reveal about “our thought and consciousness in general”? I plan, in the short compass of this paper, to sketch some answers to these questions. §1. A brief description of MPD. The American Psychiatric Association gives two criteria for (MPD) multiple personality disorder. First, and most obviously, there is “the existence within the person of two or more distinct personalities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern
Abstract: Perhaps we should begin with this question: What is the “problem of free will”? Like those other great “problem” phrases that philosophers bandy about, “the mind-body problem,” “the problem of universals,” and “the problem of evil,” this phrase has no clear referent. There are obviously a lot of philosophical problems about free will, but which of them, or which combination of them, is the problem of free will? I will propose an answer to this question, but this proposal can be no more than just that, a proposal. I propose that we understand the problem of free will to be the following problem
Abstract: Multiple-personality disorder is just what it sounds like: a clinical psychiatric condition whose sufferers exhibit more than one apparent personality in a single body. Some therapists claim over a hundred personalities in one body, which may present themselves as differing from the body in age, appearance, sex, language and even species. (Some therapists claim to have uncovered vegetable and even inanimate personalities.) I have tried to use language as neutral about this as possible, since there is a great deal of controversy about what, exactly, is going on in these lunatics, and even what they should be called. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, that judicious compromise between clinical knowledge, professional politics and random social prejudice, in the new fourth edition has eliminated "multiple personality disorder" and put "dissociative identity disorder" in its place. The popular name is still "schizophrenia," but that properly belongs to another mental disorder altogether, and one with, ironically, a much firmer grip in reality. William Calvin has suggested that these states be called "chimeric," which would make the patients chimerae (sing. chimera). I like this, and will try using it here
Abstract: In this paper we argue that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is best interpreted as a causal model of a (possible) post-traumatic psychological process, as a mechanical model of an abnormal psychological condition. From this perspective we examine and criticize the evidential status of DID, and we demonstrate that there is really no good reason to believe that anyone has ever suffered from DID so understood. This is so because the proponents of DID violate basic methodological principles of good causal modeling. When every ounce of your concentration is fixed upon blasting a winged pig out of the sky, you do not question its species' ontological status. James Morrow, City of Truth (1990)