Dissociative Identity Disorder, Ambivalence, and Responsibility

European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):764-784 (2017)

Authors
Michelle Maiese
Emmanuel College
Abstract
If someone with dissociative identity disorder commits a wrongful act, is she responsible? If one adopts the Multiple Persons Thesis, it may seem that one alter cannot be responsible for the actions of another alter. Conversely, if one regards the subject as a single person, it may seem that she is responsible for any actions she performs. I will argue that this subject is a single person, but one who suffers from delusions of disownership and therefore does not fulfill ordinary requirements for responsible agency. This is because she suffers from extreme ambivalence: her deep-seated needs and desires conflict, and she forms alter-personalities as a way to cope with inner discord without abandoning any of these contradictory impulses. However, although the ability to exercise autonomous agency is eroded in such cases, the capacity for autonomous agency is preserved. The subject with DID is weakly responsible for her wrongful acts.
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12171
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Necessity, Volition, and Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):114-116.
Moral Luck. Philosophical Papers 1973-1980.Bernard Williams - 1983 - Philosophical Quarterly 33 (132):288-296.

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