Personal identity and the Phineas Gage effect

Analysis 75 (3):396-405 (2015)
Abstract
Phineas 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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DOI 10.1093/analys/anv041
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References found in this work BETA
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman - 1996 - Cornell University Press.
Beyond “Identity”.Rogers Brubaker & Frederick Cooper - 2000 - Theory and Society 29 (1):1-47.
Persons and Their Pasts.Sydney Shoemaker - 1970 - American Philosophical Quarterly 7 (4):269-85.

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