John M wrote:
John, the concept of first person / third person has been debated for a long time on this list. My interpretation is that two observers have a common or objective or "third person" perspective of an event when this event affects equally their probability of continuing consciousness. In effect, these observers share the same frame of reference. This is why they can talk about an objective reality, that is the reality they believe they share in common. This is the reality that they believe a hypothetical "third person" would perceive if such a person was present. The event such as the decay of Carbon 12 may be driven by a physical law that regulates such a decay. (In our world Carbon 12 does not decay) Hence this law appears to be common to these two observers.
In contrast, two observers may perceive an event differently if this event unequally affects their continuing consciousness. In this case, we may call each observer's perception a first person perspective. It is a relative perspective because it depends on the observer's frame of reference.
A fascinating question is the similarity and differences of these definitions with Einstein's relativity. The flow of time which varies according to the velocity of Einstein's inertial frame of reference is linked in my definition to "continuing" consciousness. It is as if relative motion itself would "trim" some of our consciousness, allowing only our remaining consciousness to experience the change in the flow of time as described by Einstein.
These considerations lead me to think that our survival or death, the trimming process, is ongoing, omnipresent, and inherently coupled with the physical laws at the most fundamental level.