Delusion, dissociation and identity

Philosophical Explorations 6 (1):31-49 (2003)
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Abstract

The condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is metaphysically strange. Can there really be several distinct persons operating in a single body? Our view is that DID sufferers are single persons with a severe mental disorder. In this paper we compare the phenomenology of dissociation between personality states in DID with certain delusional disorders. We argue both that the burden of proof must lie with those who defend the metaphysically extravagant Multiple Persons view and that there is little theoretical motivation to yield to that view in light of the fact that the core symptoms of DID bear remarkable similarity to the symptoms of these other disorders where no such extravagance is ever seriously entertained.

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Author Profiles

Steve Matthews
Australian Catholic University
Jeanette Kennett
Macquarie University

Citations of this work

Delusion.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dissociative identity disorder and ambivalence.Michelle Maiese - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (3):223-237.
On-line professionals.S. Matthews - 2006 - Ethics and Information Technology 8 (2):61-71.
Dissociative Identity Disorder, Ambivalence, and Responsibility.Michelle Maiese - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):764-784.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
An essay concerning human understanding.John Locke - 1689 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Pauline Phemister.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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