SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

Multiple Personality Disorder and Dewey's Philosophy

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Michael Allen
University of Southern Maine
United States

Philosophical approaches to the study of multiple personality disorder sometimes fall prey to what Dewey would call the “neglect of context.” Using Dewey’s notion of context, it would be possible not only to provide a more robust philosophical account of multiplicity but also to re-articulate dissociation and the spectrum of dissociative disorders. Dewey’s philosophy provides a way to both avoid pitfalls associated with attempts to characterize mental illness in general and a fruitful way to approach dissociative disorders such as MPD in particular. Specifically, Dewey’s use of context, situation, and inquiry could supplement, from a philosophical perspective, what is already taking place within other disciplines that diagnose and treat such disorders as MPD.


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