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Altered States/Dissociation
Record Type: Review   ID: 742

First Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind

Braude, Stephen E.

 Philosopher Braude's aim "is to examine issues central to our thinking about multiple personality. I discuss some concepts that have not been given the attention they deserve, clarify frequently-used and important terms (e.g., 'dissociation') which have not been used with sufficient care, and dispel some confusions that have plagued theorizing about multiplicity for many years" (p. 4). The book is aimed not only at philosophers but clinicians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and laypersons who need to know about multiple personality. The first chapter reviews the history of hypnosis, the second surveys the evidence for multiple personality disorder, the third discusses the differences between multiplicity and other dissociative phenomena and offers "a novel view of what accounts for the distinct sense of self which each alternate personality seems to enjoy" (p. 5). Similarities are considered in the following chapter, and the concept of dissociation is clarified and a new definition is offered. The fifth chapter is about a fallacy in the distorted view of the importance of dissociation in understanding the mind that he terms the "principle of compositional reversibility." Chapter 6 reviews and criticizes the view that there are non-dissociative divisions of the self. The seventh chapter argues "that we need to posit an underlying unity to explain certain central features of multiplicity" (p. 6). Chapter 8 considers the question of whether the phenomena of multiple personality disorder require that we think differently about persons, and explores the relationship between personhood and the concept of personality. The final chapter reviews the differences and similarities between mediumship and multiple personality.
Publisher Information:New York: Routledge, 1991. 283p. Bibl: 255-278; Chap. notes: 248-254; 1 fig; Index: 279-283
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