Personal Identity, Multiple Personality Disorder, And Moral Personhood
Matthews (Steve)
Source: Philosophical Psychology, Mar98, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p67, 22p;
Paper - Abstract

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    Marya Schechtman argues that psychological continuity1 accounts of personal identity, as represented by Derek Parfit2's account, fail to escape the circularity objection. She claims that Parfit3's deployment of quasi-memory4 (and other quasi-psychological) states to escape circularity implicitly commit us to an implausible view of human psychology. Schechtman suggests that what is lacking here is a coherence condition and that this is something essential in any account of personal identity. In response to this I argue first that circularity may be escaped using quasi-psychological states even with the addition of the coherence condition. Second, I argue that there is something right about the coherence condition and a major task of this paper is to identify its proper theoretical role. Connecting these two issues I argue that coherence acts as a normative constraint on accounts of personal identity, but that the normative dimension of personhood is not essential to our notion of a person tout court. (edited) Argues that M. Schechtman's suggestion that a coherence constraint is required in accounts of personal identity is flawed. Importance and relevance of the notion of psychological coherence; Presupposition of coherence; Satisfactory accounts related to the morality of persons.

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