Dissociation : Vol. 4, No. 3, p. 134-146 : Double consciousness in Britain 1815-1875
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This paper describes the formulations of double consciousness current in mid-nineteenth century Britain. It was a quite well defined clinical entity. Criteria for its diagnosis overlap with but are not identical to those now used for MPD. The disorder was uniformly regarded as rare, but there was a steady flow of case reports. This paper cites a number that have long been ignored, and allusions to less florid unpublished observations, including prepubertal cases. Also included are references to continental cases, described in the eighteenth century as cataleptic somnambulism. The preeminence of the concept of double consciousness, which emerged early in the nineteenth century, ended in 1875. It was replaced by the concept of multiple personality. The immediate interest in, and use of multiple personality in 1875 was to prove a philosophic point about the nature of the mind.