and Personal Identity Revisited
John P. Lizza
Source: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science,
June 1993 v44 n2 p263(12).
Why does the mental health industry regard people in multiple groups as unreal, or as less real than some real or imagined main person? This essay by John Lizza explains the origin of this idea, focusing on Morton Prince's work with Christine Beauchamp.
'Why are you not "She"'?
Abstract: The assumption about the usage of 'person' and 'personality'
for the multiple personality is examined. They have three general meanings
and are not univocal. The three meanings are termed as species meaning,
appearance meaning and reality meaning. The nuances in the meanings are
due to psychological, biological and physiological factors.
Subjects: Multiple personality - Analysis
Electronic Collection: A14482865 RN: A14482865
Full Text COPYRIGHT Oxford University Press (UK) 1993
'Because "She" does not know the same things that I do.'
'But you both have the same arms and legs, haven't you?'
'Yes, but arms and legs do not make us the same.'
Much contemporary philosophical discussion about persons and personal
identity has focused on hypothetical and clinical cases that raise
problems for traditional accounts of persons and their identity.(1)
Consideration of such cases forces us to re-evaluate our understanding of
the nature of persons and, as Derek Parfit puts it, see 'what really
matters' to us about our identity (Parfit ).
Multiple personality is one such problem case, because prima facie it
raises the possibility of a single human body constituting more than one
persons during its life-history. It challenges the commonly held view of a
one-body, body-person relation. The phenomenon of multiple personality,
however, has received little critical attention by philosophers. In one of
only a handful of articles on multiple personality published in
philosophical journals since 1940, Kathleen V. Wilkes attributes this
neglect to a lack of a steady consensus in the psychiatric community as to
the scientific respectability of the diagnosis and its proper method of
treatment (Wilkes ).(2) If the psychiatrists can't get it straight,
how can philosophers responsibly discuss its philosophical implications?
However, the dearth of philosophical discussion may also be due to certain
assumptions that philosophers have about the meaning of 'person' and
'personality' and how these terms are used in the analysis of multiple
personality. David Wiggins, for example, hold that the statement (K), "Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the same man but not the same person or
personality" (Wiggins , p. 29) is a case of ambiguous reference in
which 'Dr. Jekyll' and 'Mr. Hyde' have ... to be read twice over in (K) to
make it come out true, first as standing each for a man (this individual
is the same man as that individual), the second time as standing for a
certain kind of character or personality. (These personalities, not these
men, are different.) (Wiggins , p. 37)
Wiggins claims that 'the example represents an impulsive attempt to
postulate philosophically defined schizophrenia without going the whole
way and postulating two men sharing one body, each taking his turn to
control it' (Wiggins , p. 37). Wiggins thus assumes that in the
context of multiple personality, 'personality' refers to a kind of
character rather than to a distinct individual, i.e., a person. And there
is nothing philosophically startling about persons manifesting many
different characters or personalities in this sense. One's 'character' may
change depending on whether one is at home or at school, at work or at
play, in a bad or good mood, with friends or enemies . . . Philosophers
like Wiggins thus do not view multiple personality as ever challenging the
one-one, body-person relation.
In this paper, I examine whether this assumption about the use of the
terms 'person' and 'personality' in discussions of multiple personality is
correct. In particular, I analyze Morton Prince's discussion of multiple
personality in his seminal work, The Dissociation of a Personality, and
consider whether multiple personality is a bona fide case of two or more
persons sharing one body, each taking his or her turn to control it.
At the start of The Dissociation of a Personality, Prince appears to use
the terms 'person' and 'personality' interchangeably and thus to suggest
that the same human body can give rise to a plurality of persons. He
"Miss Christine L. Beauchamp, the subject of this study, is a person in
whom several personalities have become developed; that is to say, she may
change her personality from time to time, often from hour to hour, and
with each change her character becomes transformed and her memories
altered. In addition to the real, original or normal self, the self that
was born and which she was intended by nature to be, she may be any one of
three different persons. I say three different, because, although making
use of the same body, each, nevertheless, has a distinctly different
character; a difference manifested by different trains of thought, by
different views, beliefs, ideals and temperament, and by different
acquisitions, tastes, habits, experiences and memories. Each varies in
these respects from the other two, and from the original Miss Beauchamp.
Two of these personalities have no knowledge of each other or of the
third, expecting such information as may be obtained by inference or
second hand, so that in the memory of each of these two there are blanks
which correspond to the times when the others are in the flesh. Of a
sudden one or the other wakes up to find herself, she knows not where and
ignorant of what she has said or done a moment before. Only one of the
three has knowledge of the lives of the others, and this one presents such
a bizarre character, so far removed from the others in individuality that
the transformation from one of the otherpersonalities to herself is one of
the most striking and dramatic features of the case. The personalities
come and go in kaleidoscopic succession, many changes often being made in
the course of twenty-four hours. And so it happens that Miss Beauchamp, if
I may use the name to designate several distinct people, at one moment
says and does and plans and arranges something to which a short time
before she most strongly objected, indulges tastes which a moment before
would have abhorrent to her ideals, and undo or destroys what she had just
laboriously planned and arranged." (Prince , pp. 1-2) (emphasis
What are we to make of this? Are 'person' and 'personality' synonymous?
Is a person different from a personality? Does the body of Miss Beauchamp
constitute three distinct 'people' or only three different 'characters' or
'personalities'? In short, what do we mean and what did Prince mean by
'person' and 'personality'?
Before analyzing what Prince meant by these terms, it is important to note
that the terms 'person' and 'personality' are not univocal and that they
share three common meanings.
The first meaning common to the terms is when they serve to designate the
species or those specific characteristics which account for an entity's
being a person as distinguished from an animality, vegetability, or
materiality. In this sense, which I will call the 'Speci Meaning' of
'person' and 'personality', all persons are characterized by personhood or
The second common meaning of the terms, which I will call their
'Appearance Meaning', may be understood by comparing the definition of
'person' as 'a character sustained or assumed in a drama or the like, or
in actual life; part played; hence function, office, capacity; guise,
semblance' with the definition of 'personality' as 'the mask or appearance
which a man presents to others' (Oxford English Dictionary, 'Person' and
'Personality') (cf. Lawrie ). This 'Appearance Meaning' suggests
that there is something behind the 'guise' or 'mask' that has to do with
the reality, rather than the mere appearance of the person or personality
concerned. It also entails that a human being can have or present many
different persons or personalities, and that a person-type or
personality-type may be common to many different people. Wiggins' second
reading of (K) invokes the 'Appearance Meaning' of the terms. Other
statements employing this second meaning include, 'Jones has a different
personality than he had some years ago', 'Jones is a different person than
the person whom I used to know', and 'Jones has a "James Bond" personality
or is a "James Bond" type of person'.
The third meaning common to 'person' and 'personality', which I will call
their 'Reality Meaning', is when they are used to designate the existence,
individuality, and identity of persons and personalities. 'Person' in
this sense means 'the actual self or being of a man or woman; individual
personality' (Oxford English Dictionary, 'Person'). Correspondingly,
'personality' means 'a personal being; a person; personal existence;
actual existence as a person; the fact of there being or having been such
a person; quality or assemblage of qualities which makes a what he is as
distinct from other persons; distinctive or individual character,
especially when of a marked or notable kind' (Oxford English Dictionary,
'Personality'). Person or personality in this sense is what makes a
particular persons or personality what she is and what differentiates her
from all other persons or personalities. In contrast to the 'Appearance
Meaning' of the terms, persons and personalities in the third sense are
unique; they are the realities behind the guise or mask. To be a person is
to be a personality; to identify and individuate a person is to identify
and individuate a personality.
Throughout his work, Morton Prince appears to use the terms 'person' and
'personality' in their 'Reality Meaning' sense. However, in the end,
Prince believed that the multiple persons or personalities which developed
in Miss Beauchamp were personalities in the 'Appearance Meaning' sense of
terms. Prince distinguished the 'Real Miss Beauchamp' from the other
personalities, where the other personalities were 'false' personalities or
'semblances' of persons in the 'Appearance Meaning' sense of the term.
While they were not simply masks, roles, or characters assumed by the Real
Miss Beauchamp, they were, according to Prince, 'artificial', and should
be distinguished from the one, true Miss Beauchamp.
Before looking at Prince's reasons for rejecting the idea that multiple
personalities are genuine cases of a single human body constituting more
than one person or personality in the 'Reality Meaning' sense of the
terms, some reason why one would construe the phenomenon in precisely that
way should be considered. Kathleen Wilkes  succinctly presents the
case for a plurality of persons or a one-many, body-person relation.
First, the four personalities of Miss Beauchamp (BI, BII, BIII or Sally,
and BIV) fail the Lockean memory or continuity of consciousness criterion
of identity. There are no symmetrical or transitive memory relations
between the personalities.
Second, the personalities have radically different psychological,
character, and personality traits. They differ in outlook, moods,
ambitions, tastes, and habits. In addition, as subsequent testing of other
multiple personality subjects revealed, the personalities demonstrate
significantly different reactions to repeated EEG tests that look for
alpha and theta wave frequency and amplitude, or the conditions under
which alpha activity is blocked (e.g., eye opening). In one particular
testing, four different personalities had patterned differences on GSR
(galvanic skin response) tests to emotionally laden words; their VER
(visual evoked response) to light flashes differed systematically; tests
of paired-word learning showed some transfer of learning between one of
the personalities to the other three, but no transfer among the other
three, and none from any of them to the one that did show transfer
(Ludwig, Brandsma, Wilbur, Bendfelt, and Jameson ).
Third, each personality was well-rounded and complete. An uninformed
outsider would have found a relatively normal individual no matter which
personality was 'out'. It should be noted, however, that in other cases
(e.g., Sybil, Jonah) the personalities were not as complete and
well-rounded as those of Miss Beauchamp (Schreiber ; Ludwig et al.
). Instead, they seemed designed with specific abilities to
accomplish particular kinds of tasks and deal with particular kinds of
Fourth, each personality satisfied many of the commonly used conditions to
identify persons. Each personality was rational, acted intentionally, had
command of a language, had conscious and self-conscious experiences, and
was an object of moral treatment.
Fifth, from the first-person perspective, i.e., what it is like to be
someone from the inside, each personality considered herself separate from
the others and was concerned only with her own existence and threatened
extinction. It was no consolation to any of the personalities to be
promised that she would survive in some form, or to some degree after a
merger of streams of consciousness.(3)
Finally, Miss Beauchamp's plurality was synchronic as well as diachronic.
Sally not only alternated with the other three personalities but
co-existed with them as a second consciousness. She was aware of the
actions and thoughts of BI and BII and was even able to act when BI or BII
was the primary consciousness. Manifestations of Sally as a concomitant
consciousness would take the form of automatic writing, instigation of
aboulia, obsessions and imperative impulses affecting the primary
consciousness, accurate, rational reports of what the primary
consciousness did while the primary consciousness was in a state of
delirium, and reports about dreams which were forgotten by the primary
consciousness. There were also 'wars of wills' between Sally and the other
personalities (Wilkes ).
Wilkes ultimately rejects these arguments for a plurality of persons. Her
justification for doing so, however, does not rely on any distinction
between the different meanings of 'person' and 'personality'. She does not
believe that the multiple persons or personalities of Miss Beauchamp are
merely 'semblances' in the 'Appearance Meaning' sense of the terms. The
multiple persons or personalities, according to Wilkes, would count on
physical and psychological grounds as distinct individuals in the 'Reality
Meaning' sense of the terms.
Instead, Wilkes's argument against a plurality of persons invokes moral
and social concepts of person, which, she claims, 'presuppose and are
built around ... [the fact that] ... practically all the time, with
extremely rare exceptions, we have the fact of a one-one relation between
person and body' (Wilkes , p. 343). She believes that there are
strong normative pressures from our moral and social systems of belief to
treat Miss Beauchamp as a single person and that these considerations, as
opposed to the physical considerations, should 'carry the day': we should
deny the status of personhood to BI, BIII, and BIV.
Thus, she argues: the various personalities were not counted as persons at
all; despite the vocabulary used to describe them, despite the fact that
each could be blamed or praised for her own activities, but not for those
of others. For Prince had little moral compulsion in committing what to BI
or BIV seemed like murder; fond as he often was of Sally, he had no
hesitation in sending her back to the limbo from which she came,
overriding her (often eloquent and moving) protests.
Presumably his attitude can not be made wholly consistent; to blame or
praise BIV one day, to work to extinguish her the next, is hard to justify
strictly. It is interesting to consider his attitude before BII appeared.
When BIV arrived, he thought for some time that she might be 'the real
Miss Beauchamp', and worked hard to suppress BI and Sally; he allowed that
this was, as far as BI was concerned, her 'annihilation' and 'psychical
murder' (Prince , p. 248). Yet it is clear that he did not seriously
regard himself as a murderer--there is no analogy with ordinary murder,
nor even with abortion or killing in self-defense, so BI can not have been
considered a true person after all, despite the 'murder' rhetoric.
Correspondingly, once BII had appeared, he set out to 'kill' BIV as hard
as he had tried to 'kill' BI. Thus none of the post-1983, pre-1904
personalities was in fact regarded as a person at all, inasmuch as each
was denied the basic right to life. Hence, it appears that the normative
constraints on what it is to be a person ruled out the entire trio of
Sally, BI and BIV (Wilkes , pp. 344-5).
Wilkes, however, has confused the moral and social concepts and laws of
persons with the physical concept and laws of persons--considerations
clearly distinguished by Prince. That Sally, BI, and BIV were not 'true'
persons by Prince's standard has nothing to do with any moral notion of
persons believed by Prince. Sally, BI, and BIV were 'false' persons,
according to Prince, because they were artificial creations that violated
the nomological basis of the psychological, biological, and physiological
concept of person. The 'normative' notions at work are the laws of
psychology, biology, and physiology, not morality. Thus, in discussing
whether there is a real or normal self, Prince asserts:
"Again, approaching the subject from a purely psychological point of view,
it has been held that of the various possible selves which may be formed
out of the 'mass of consciousness' belonging to any given individual,
there is no particular real or normal self; one may be just as real and
just as normal as another, excepting so far as one or the other is best
adapted to a particular environment. If the environment were changed,
another self might be the normal one. But the psychological point of view
is too limited. What test have we of adaptation? There is a physiological
point of view, and also a biological point of view, from which personality
must be considered. A normal self must be able to adjust itself
physiologically to its environment, otherwise all sorts of perverted
reactions of the body arise (anesthesia, instability, neurasthenic
symptoms, etc.), along with pathological stigmata (amnesia,
suggestibility, etc.), and it becomes a sick self. Common experience shows
that, philosophize as you will, there is an empirical self which may be
designated the real normal self. However, I shall put aside this question
for the present and assume that there is a normal self, a particular Miss
Beauchamp, who is physiologically as well as psychologically best adapted
to any environment. This self should be free from mental and physical
stigmata (suggestibility, amnesia, aboulia, anesthesia, etc.), which
commonly characterize the disintegrated states making up multiple
personality. Such as self may be termed the real self, in the sense that
it is not an artificial product of special influences, but the one which
is the resultant of the harmonious integration of all the processes, both
physiological and psychological of the individual. Any other self is a
sick self." (Prince , pp. 233-4)
In contrast to Wilkes, Prince believed that 'person' or 'personality' in
the 'Reality Meaning' sense is a natural kind term, that there are
psychological, biological, and physiological laws of what it is to be a
person or personality, and that these laws determine the extension of the
term.(4) Sally, BI, and BIV are ruled out as persons or personalities in
the 'Reality Meaning' sense because, despite psychological appearances,
they violate some natural laws of personhood. Evidence of some violation
is that they are all 'sick' selves.(5)
Prince's distinction between a real person and an artificial or 'false'
person, however, is not based solely on his observations of multiple
personalities. Throughout his work, he points out various causal factors
('special influences') that can lead to the formation of artificial
persons, and he states that these artificial persons have many of the same
characteristics as those found in multiple personalities, e.g., extreme
suggestibility and amnesia. Prince states:
"Post-hypnotic phenomena ... are manifestations of a doubling of
consciousness, artificially induced, of a kind to form two more or less
independent mental systems. The independent activity of each system
produces the phenomena. But such phenomena, as ordinarily brought about,
are not spontaneous, but the result of artificial interference; they are
of consequence psychologically in that they show the ease with which even
normal minds may be split in two." (Prince , pp. 57-8)
Prince claims that such hypnotic states represent minor or undeveloped
forms of personalities, which can develop into a complex synthesis of
psychical factors (memories, moods, etc.) and embrace a wide field of
consciousness. He holds that when this occurs, we have what to all
intents and purposes is a complete personality. It mayehave its own group
of memories, with amnesia for the original personal synthesis, and its own
peculiar reactions to the environment (moods), thus differing in memory
and moods from the original self. It is conveniently termed a second or
third personality. (Prince , p. 475)(6)
Other causal factors that may lead to the dissociation or disintegration
of the person are physical injuries and mental or emotional shock.(7) It
is also worth nothing Prince's consideration of Janet's studies on
'hysterical amnesia', since Prince's remarks are relevant to the memory
criterion of personality identity, which might be used to support the
claim that there are multiple persons associated with one body in cases of
multiple personality. Prince explains that 'from one point of view, it is
not amnesia at all, that the lost memories are conserved, but so
dissociated from the personal consciousness that they cannot be recalled'
(Prince, p. 257).
Thus, in the case of multiple personality, each personal consciousness has
in some sense the memories (or memory traces) but is simply unable to
recall them. Consistent with this interpretation of amnesia, a memory
theorist migh claim that it would be impossible that in this minimal sense
of 'having' memories, persons constituted by different bodies could have
the same memories.
In contrast to Wilkes's view, Prince's distinction between artificial and
natural persons provides the correct basis for interpreting the phenomenon
of multiple personality. Prince, in fact, thought that 'disintegrated
personality' was a better descriptive term than 'multiple personality',
since 'each secondary personality is only part of the normal whole self.
No one secondary personality preserves the whole psychical life of the
individual' (Prince , p. 3).
In addition, Prince clearly distinguish cases in which the artificial or
natural person ceases to exist (the destruction of the person) from cases
of multiple personality (the disintegration of the person). He writes:
"secondary personalities are formed by the disintegration of the original
normal personalities. Disintegration as thus used must not be confused
with the same term sometimes employed in the sense of degeneration,
meaning a destroyed mind or organically diseased brain. Degeneration
implies destruction of normal psychical processes, and may be equivalent
to insanity, whereas the disintegration resulting in multiple personality
is only a functional dissociation of that complex organization which
constitutes a normal self. The elementary psychical processes, in
themselves normal, are capable of being reassociated into a normal whole."
(Prince , p. 3)
Moreover, as indicated earlier, Prince believed that there are degrees of
disintegration which give rise in varying degrees to artificial persons or
personalities, i.e., to the appearance of a plurality of natural persons
or personalities. The simplest form of an artificial person appears in
highly synthesized 'automatic' or hypnotic phenomena, e.g., through
automatic writing or states of hypnosis (Prince , p. 4).
"In more fully developed forms," Prince asserts, "the second personalities
are identical with the trance states of mediums, like that of Miss
'Smith', studied by Flournoy, and that of Mrs. 'Smead', studied by
Professor Hyslop. In such cases the second personality does not obtain a
completely independent existence, but comes out of its shell, so to speak,
only under special conditions when the subject goes into a 'trance'. The
external life of personalities of this sort, so far as it is carried on
independently of the principal consciousness, is extremely restricted,
being confined to the experiences of the so-called 'seance'. Although such
a personality is complete in having possession of the faculties of an
ordinary human being, there is very little independence in the sense of a
person who spontaneously and voluntarily moves about in a social world,
and works, acts, and plays like any human being. It is questionable how
far such a personality would be capable of carrying on all the functions
of a social life, and of adapting itself to its environment. Hypnotic
states, that is, artificially induced types of disintegration, are rarely,
if ever, sufficiently complete, and possessed of adequate spontaneous
adaptability to the environment to constitute veritable personalities."
(Prince , p. 4)
Finally, Prince states: "In the most fully developed forms . . . the
disintegrated personality retains that large degree of complexity of
mental organization which permitsmplete, free, and spontaneous activity,
approximating, at least, that of normal mental life. Though some cases
exhibit glaring mental and physical defects, others may, to the ordinary
observer, exhibit nothing more than an alteration of character and loss of
memory for certain periods of life. Such persons often pass before the
world as mentally healthy persons, though physically they may be
neurasthenic. But a careful physiological examination will reveal
deviations from the normal which show the true character of the
alteration. It is to this last category that Miss Beauchamp belongs. In
any one of her mental states she is capable of living her social life and
doing her daily duties, subject only to the limitations set by poor
general health; and, as a matter of fact, each personality leads it own
life like any other mortal." (Prince , p. 5)
Prince's remarks show what is wrong with relying on Wilkes's third
argument for a plurality of persons, namely, that each personality was
well-rounded and complete, and that an uninformed observer would have
found a relative individual no matter which personality was 'out'. Prince
admits that to the ordinary observer, 'Such persons often pass before the
world as mentally healthy persons.' His point, however, is that we should
not confuse the appearance of natural persons with the reality of natural
persons, and that we should appeal to psychology, biology, and physiology,
not ordinary experience, to distinguish them. Miss Beauchamp's
personalities suffer from severe mental and physical defects: aboulia,
impulsions, neurasthenia, amnesia of actions and thoughts, violent mood
and character changes, abnormal suggestibility, and severe limitations in
their ability to adapt to their environment. Normal, real persons do not
suffer from these defects, or at least not all of them.
After Prince's synthesis of the personalities and his discovery that the
awakened BII is the 'Real Miss Beauchamp', the normal, real Miss Beauchamp
does not suffer from neurasthenia, hallucinations, impulsions, obsessions,
aboulia, or abnormal suggestibility (Prince , p. 518).
In summary, there is a distinction between natural and artificial persons
and the phenomenon of multiple personality should be interpreted as
involving two or more persons or personalities that can be individuated
only in the 'Appearance Meaning' sense of the terms, i.e., as semblances
of real persons or personalities. This distinction is not drawn for social
or moral reasons but for psychological, biological, and physiological
reasons. Artificial persons behave in ways that violate the nomological
basis of the 'Reality Meaning' sense of the term 'person' and therefore
fall outside its extension.
Here, there is substantial agreement between Prince and David Wiggins.
Wiggins distinguishes artifacts, e.g., chairs and cups, from natural
kinds, e.g., human beings and persons, on grounds that the former are not
identified under concepts that are nomologically conditioned. Similarly,
Prince distinguished artificial persons from natural persons on grounds
that the former violate the nomological regularities that underlie the
concept of person. Both maintain that functionalist psychology is
insufficient to account for our concept of person. Finally, both argue for
a one-one, person-body relation based on natural laws of psychology,
biology, and physiology.(8)
(1) See, for example, philosophical discussions of brain transplants
(Roland Pucetti ; Bernard Gert ; George Rey ; Shaffer
); body-splitting (R. M. Gale ; David Wiggins );
replication (Derek Parfit ); and commissurotomy (Thomas Nagel
; Roland Puccetti ; DeWitt ; Puccetti ; Charles
E. Marks ; Puccetti ).
(2) Wilkes points out that in the mid-nineteenth century, when multiple
personality was considered a genuine--and fascinating--diagnostic
category, many cases were reported. However, with a prevailing skepticism
in the mid-twentieth century, alternative diagnoses (e.g., schizophrenia,
psychosis, cerebral trauma) were made, and virtually no cases of multiple
personality were reported. Wilkes also cites studies by Taylor and Martin
, Orzech, McGuire, and Longnecker , and Congdon, Haig, and
Stevenson , which suggest that multiple personality may be extreme
form of role-playing and therefore should not be considered a separate
diagnostic category. Finally, hypnosis, though traditionally employed as a
method of therapy, has been suspected as actually causing, or at least
solidifying, the condition (Harriman [1942, 1943, 1947]; Bowers and
Brecher; Orzech, McGuire, and Longnecker ; Gruenewald ).
(3) The personalities in the actual Beauchamp case apparently have a much
different reaction than that of Derek Parfit to the issue of survival as
opposed to personal identity.
(4) The view that natural kinds are nomologically grounded has been
proposed by Hilary Putnam  and Saul Kripke , and can be traced
back to Leibniz and Aristotle. On this view, the determination of a
natural kind depends on the existence of lawlike principles that collect
together the actual extension of the kind around an arbitrary good
specimen of it and that determine the characteristic activity, development
and history of members of this extension (cf. Wiggins , pp. 77-86,
(5) Not every 'sick' self is, of course, an 'artificial' self. Many
people, for example, exhibit neurasthenia and aboulia, but that does not
make them 'artificial'. Prince was led to the diagnosis of the artificial
status of the various personalities in the Beauchamp case through his
observation of what may be a unique combination of symptoms exhibited by
multiple personalities, his physical and psychological testing of the
personalities,consideration of their causal history, and comparison of the
phenomena exhibited by the multiple personalities with other dissociative
(6) More recent studies of multiple personalities also indicate that
hypnosis or suggestion may be etiological factors of the condition. See
Harriman [1942, 1943, 1947], Bowers and Brecher , Orzech, McGuire,
and Longnecker , and Gruenewald .
(7) Taylor and Martin  list cortical damage, lowered energy levels,
severe shock or stress, and severe conflicts as possible etiologic factors
of multiple personality.
(8) My own view is that the concept of person is a hybrid concept; it is
neither purely natural nor purely artifactual. It is, in part,
nomologically conditioned and, in part, determined by social convention.
Thus, some issues about persons and their identity, such as whether
multiple personality is a case of more than one person sharing a single
body, are resolved bynomological considerations. Other issues, such as
whether someone who has undergone total, 'philosophical' amnesia or 'brain
zap' is the same person, are resolved by social stipulation. For more on
this, see my doctoral dissertation, Metaphysical and Cultural Aspects of
Persons, Columbia University (Ann Arbor; University Microfilms, 1991).
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