Personal identity and the Phineas Gage effect

Analysis 75 (3):396-405 (2015)
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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.
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References found in this work BETA
Beyond “Identity”.Brubaker, Rogers & Cooper, Frederick
Persons and Their Pasts.Shoemaker, Sydney

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Citations of this work BETA
Folk Teleology Drives Persistence Judgments.Rose, David; Schaffer, Jonathan & Tobia, Kevin
The Essence of Essentialism.E. Newman, George & Knobe, Joshua

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