Finding our selves: Identification, identity, and multiple personality

Philosophical Psychology 6 (4):363-86 (1993)
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
Keywords Identity  Metaphysics  Mind  Person  Psychology  Science  Self
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