This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 19 John 11 ("Defining the Ineffable")...
I do believe you enjoy trying to define the ineffable. Are these discussions shaping a text of "The Philosophy of John"?
I like your suggestion of personality as a "meta-behavior" or a "style" of behavior. I believe the dictionary even suggests that personality is a pattern of behaviors. It also seems to me that this meta-behavior is going to be defined by the characteristics or specific behaviors of the person. I don't see any other way to understand the meta-behavior except by it's expressions and when the expressions change so does the personality.
You mentioned laughter as a response which could help describe this meta-behavior. Let me try and give an example of how a meta-behavior (personality) could change and be measured by a behavior such as laughter.
As a child one may laugh at humerous events such as cartoons, slapstick such as the three stooges, or a clown. This child as an adult still laughs at similar humerous events except for the slapstick. As an adult, the slapstick appears too violent (make believe, but violent none-the-less) and now this person does not laugh at it. The laughing behavior still exists but has changed in one small expression. I believe the personality has also changed. This person now sees violence in something he/she enjoyed as a child.
This meta-behavior is "defined" by the emotional, social, and mental characteristics/behaviors of an individual. When I described myself as less depressed, I believe this is a personality change, not a change in my belief system (whatever that may be). However a change in one's belief system would also indicate a change in personality. I'm not sure whether I have become politically more conservative. I was/am politically very naive, so it is difficult for me to compare.
I have become more "conservative". At one time, I would have considered using abortion if the difficulty of a pregnancy presented itself. However for the last ten years, I have believed this is not a morally acceptable solution FOR MYSELF. This is not an inclination to take fewer risks due to age. This is a change in a "belief" system that indicates a personality change.
My other behavior changes all indicate a personality change. The behaviors are not just shifting along the confines of a Drury meta-behavior. The meta-behavior/personality has changed.
I also agree with Larry. Personality change and intellectual growth are not the same things.
If you recognize a "Druryness" about me, it is probably because I still exhibit comfortable behaviors towards you, which were developed in high school. When you trade "Drury" stories with Yumi, do you recognize me?
--My head hurts. This stuff is too "deep". The meaning of life is 42. There, it is done!--