Articles are the central focus of Ex Uno Plures. Over the past ten years, members of the Sylvan System – as well as guest authors – have written various articles about plurality, from philosophical explorations of identity to practical advice about dealing with non-plural friends, family and acquaintances. We hope that the articles are helpful for plural systems and allies alike.
If you notice that a few articles, like ‘The Main Person Fallacy’, ‘We Are Not a Hive Mind’ and the ‘Individualism’ series are missing from this page, it’s because they’re currently undergoing revision.
Introductions to plurality
Who Are We? Sylvan System 101, by Kerry Dawkins, James Dawkins and Lilly Ghia-Wilberforce (2013). A brief introduction to who we are and how we work.
Rules of Engagement: Plural Etiquette, by Em Flynn, Kerry Dawkins and Hess Sakal (2013, with material adapted from earlier 2007 articles). Some suggestions about how to talk to and about a plural system, based on our own experiences.
Getting It Together, by James Dawkins (2016). Practical advice about working together as a plural group and building the best life possible.
Transitioning while Plural, by Yavari Caralize (2017). Down-to-earth tips about navigating transgender transition as a plural system.
Thor Still Has to Pay the Bills, by Kerry Dawkins (2017). Plurality may be delightfully weird and complex, but it’s still important to handle responsibilities like bills.
Our plural experiences
Our Plural Experience, by Yavari C. (2014). Brief explanations of how we experience plurality for ourselves.
Separated by a common language, by Kerry Dawkins (2017). A discussion of how we use language differences to express our individuality.
Medical models of multiplicity
Dissociation and Assumptions, by Richard Ghia-Wilberforce (2007). An article questioninng the idea that all multiplicity has to fit into the DID paradigm perfectly.
Plurality for Skeptics, by Em Flynn (2011). A list of explanations and rebuttals to common concerns about multiplicity.
Taking the Evangelists to Task, by Kerry Dawkins (2011)
Plurality, scepticism and civility, by Richard Ghia-Wilberforce (2012). An appeal for reason and civility when talking about subjective identity.
Subjectivity v Delusions, by Kerry Dawkins (2014). Contrasting subjective experiences with clinical delusions.
Three Problems with Medical-Model-Only Thinking, by Kerry Dawkins (2017). A set of problems that arise when plurality is forced into a strictly medical explanation.
Deconstructing Structural Dissociation, by Kerry Dawkins (2019). A thorough review of – and rebuttal to – Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis and Kathy Steele’s The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization (2007).
Mutually Emergent Association, by James Dawkins (2019). A proposed alternative model for trauma-based multiplicity that focuses on long-term wellbeing without condemning plurality in and of itself.
Philosophical explorations of plurality
You Are Not Your Body, by Hess Sakal, Kerry Dawkins and Richard Ghia-Wilberforce (2007). Discussions of individual differences within systems.
It’s All in Your Head!, by Kerry Dawkins (2009). An article about subjective experiences that doesn’t require supernatural belief.
Subjective Lives, by Kerry Dawkins and M.D. (2009) A defence of subjectivity.
Personhood and Identity, a guest article by Nathan Day of the Desired Constellation system (2009). A thoughtful article about how personhood manifests itself in plural systems.
Plurality and Complexity, by Richard Ghia-Wilberforce and Noël Dawkins (2010). Disquisitions on the nature of self and identity in a plural system.
Getting Serious about Plurality by Kerry Dawkins (2012). A case for treating plurality as a philosophical phenomenon.
Parallel Dreams, by Kerry Dawkins (2013). How systems can develop their own themes or leitmotivs.
Secret Worlds Inside of Us, by Kerry Dawkins and Lilly Ghia-Wilberforce (2017). A discussion of inner worlds/otherworlds.
Engendered and Ensouled, by Kerry and Noël Dawkins (2011/2017). A detailed essay about the nature of selfhood and identity formation amongst plural systems and trans people.
Relationships and social interactions
Where’d My Friend Go?, by Kerry Dawkins, Richard Ghia-Wilberforce, Hess Sakal and others (2007). Sometimes it’s confusing finding out your friend is actually a plural system and that you’ve got to know several people at once. Here’s an article that aims to explain that.
Another One’s Left in the Dust, by Kerry Dawkins (2008). Addressing misconceptions about plurality and interpersonal relationships.
How Do You Take Your Tea Again?, a guest article by Cally of House Fidelis (2008)
Being ‘The Front’ vs Your Authentic Self, by Kerry and Noël Dawkins (2012). An article contrasting the effort it takes to hide plurality compared to being open about it.
Problems with the Plural Closet, by Kerry Dawkins and Richard Ghia-Wilberforce (originally written in 2009, expanded and edited in 2014). An article about the difficulties some plural groups encounter when they have to act as though they’re not plural.
Relationships within systems
Defending System-Mates, by Richard Ghia-Wilberforce (2008). An article defending the need to speak up for system-mates in arguments.
In-System Relationships: Fact and Fiction, by Kerry Dawkins (2012). Clarifying some misconceptions about what it means to have an in-system relationship (yes, they can happen!).
Issues within the plural community
Oh No! It’s the Plural Police, by Hess Sakal (2009). Questioning the idea that there is one proper way to be multiple.
Dispelling stereotypes about plural identities
The Littles Stereotype, by Lilly Ghia-Wilberforce (2007) An article addressing the stereotype that all children in systems have to fit a particular model of behaviour.
EVIL DEMON ALTERS!, by Hess Sakal (2007) – warning for animated GIFs. A criticism of the ‘evil demon alter’, especially when applied to system-members who are neither evil nor demons.
Sticky Terms, by Hess Sakal (2007). A list of terms used to describe plural systems and the people in them, and the benefits and drawbacks of each of them.
Divisions in Plurality, 1.0, by Kerry Dawkins (2007). An explanation of toxic dynamics in the plural community in 2007. Still up here for historical reasons.
Sniglets!, by Hess Sakal (2008). Descriptions of how some non-plural people can express stereotypes against multiples.
You Just Want to Be Special!, by Kerry Dawkins (2009). A criticism of the idea that systems are just ‘trying to be special’, rather than just trying to exist.
Divisions in Plurality, 2.0, by Kerry Dawkins (2009). An update to the original ‘Divisions in Plurality’.
The REAL ONE?!, by Hess Sakal (2011). A criticism of the idea that every system must have a ‘real’/’original’/’hosting’ member in order to be valid.
Questioning ‘Types of Alters’, by Lilly Ghia-Wilberforce (2013). A criticism of the idea that members of plural systems have to belong to circumscribed roles.
Divisions in Plurality 3.0, by Kerry Dawkins (2015). An updated version of ‘Divisions in Plurality’.
It’s Not Just a Tumblr Thing, by Kerry Dawkins (2015/2017). An exhaustive critique of the myth that multiplicity originated on Tumblr.
Fictive Identities, by Noël Dawkins (2017). An explanation of fictive identities from a non-supernatural perspective.
Flying Toasters Not Required, by Kerry Dawkins (2017). A criticism of the idea that plural systems must have mystical powers or high intelligence in order to be valid.
Plurality and social justice
The Race Issue, 1.0, by Kerry Dawkins (2008). A discussion of how racial identity and multiplicity intersect.
The Race Issue, 2.0, by Kerry Dawkins (2009). An updated discussion of the intersections between plural identity and race.
The Race Issue, 3.0 by Em Flynn (2014). Em’s contribution to the race-and-plurality discussion, with a focus on stereotyping.
Non-Plural Privilege, by Kerry Dawkins and M.D. (2009). An article about how plurality is associated with stigmatising attitudes around mental health, described with a privilege/oppression paradigm. Not necessarily an opinion we still hold, but we have kept it up for historical reasons.
Are Plurals Oppressed?, by Kerry Dawkins (2013). An updated article that discusses the complexities around plurality and mental illness stigma.