Continuing my series of puzzles to distract you from the current crisis, this month I'm asking: What is an identity? I mean the kind of identity that makes you a member of a certain social group (call these collective identities, social identities, or group identities), though that’s a rough characterization.
Let’s say you could snap your fingers and all your various tastes and aesthetic preferences changed overnight. You would appreciate different foods, you would like different books, you would prefer different colors and clothing styles and jokes. Would you do it? I’m guessing your answer is ‘no.’
Hannah Upp has dissociative fugue, an extremely rare form of amnesia, in which people lose access to their autobiographical memory and personal identity. If we associate autobiographical memory with personhood, is the Hannah Upp during an episode of fugue a different person from the Hanna Upp who is conscious of herself?