Personal identity and the Phineas Gage effect

Analysis 75 (3):396-405 (2015)

Authors
Kevin P. Tobia
Yale University
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.
Keywords personal identity  experimental philosophy  Phineas Gage  Russian Nobleman
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anv041
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References found in this work BETA

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