At 14:43 12/06/04 -0400, Jeanne Houston wrote:

I am a quantum physics enthusiast, but merely an amateur who finds the
discussion threads of this group to be quite interesting.  I have never
before commented because, to be honest, I am rather lost in regard to the
discussion of first person and third person.


I have not the time to explain the use I have made of the 1/3 person
distinction in the approach I develop to tackle the mind body problem.
It occurs with the comp hypothesis in the cognitive sciences,
that is the thesis that we are
machine (roughly speaking). Then we are, like amoeba, duplicable.
We can imagine being "cut" at some place and "pasted" in some other place.
But then we can duplicated and pasted in two place at once. It is there
that the 1 person views are qualitatively different from the 3 person views.
Let me quote
myself from http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/CC&Q.pdf
(Note that comp entails a form of comp-suicide, and quantum-suicide
could be a particular of it).


<<The first person discourse is defined by the result of experience/experiment
which are written
in a diary which belongs to the experimenter. It is important that he keeps
his diary with him during the self-duplication experiment so that the diary
is duplicated too in the experiment.
The third person discourse is the discourse made by an external observer.
Suppose a candidate goes through a
self-duplication experiment, and that he believes in computationalism. He
is scanned and annihilated at Brussels and reconstituted at both Washington
and Moscow. Let us ask him the following question: where will you
be after the experiment is done. He can answer: I will be in Washington
and Moscow. Right, with that question, he can indeed use a third person
discourse about himself. Let us ask him more cautiously the following question:
where will you
feel yourself, i.e. from your first person subjective point
of view, after the experiment? More precisely: what will you note in your
diary after the experiment is completed? In that case, if we assume both
the computationalist hypothesis and if we assume that the experimenter has
some minimal introspection abilities it is easy to understand he must answer
‘I will feel myself in Washington
or Moscow’. The fact is that he will not
write in his diary something like ‘I feel myself being both in Washington and
Moscow’. In particular he will have a personal knowledge of Moscow (resp.
Washington) and only an intellectual, 3-person knowledge, of the existence
of his doppelganger in Washington (resp. Moscow). And he can predict
that
very fact—that he will feel himself at one place—although he is unable to
predict which one, and this shows that computationalism entails a strong
first person indeterminacy, and this happens in the context of a strong third
person determinism.>>

Hoping that helps. That distinction is akin to the distinction between subjective and
objective in Everett's "relative state/many-world" papers. I will  probably say a little
more in my discussion with George asap (on the everything-list).

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/

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