Analysis 75 (3):396-405 (2015)
AbstractPhineas Gage’s story is typically offered as a paradigm example supporting the view that part of what matters for personal identity is a certain magnitude of similarity between earlier and later individuals. Yet, reconsidering a slight variant of Phineas Gage’s story indicates that it is not just magnitude of similarity, but also the direction of change that affects personal identity judgments; in some cases, changes for the worse are more seen as identity-severing than changes for the better of comparable magnitude. Ironically, thinking carefully about Phineas Gage’s story tells against the thesis it is typically taken to support.
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Citations of this work
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Staying Alive: Personal Identity, Practical Concerns, and the Unity of a Life.Marya Schechtman (ed.) - 2014 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Of identity and diversity (book II, chapter XXVII).John Locke - 1690 - In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.