George Levy writes:

Psychological copying is much less stringent than Physical copying. It requires that the person being copied feels the same as the original, "a la Turing test." This introduce the intriguing possibility of psychological indeterminacy which allows me to regard myself as the same person this evening as I was this morning, even though I am actually physically strictly different. Psychological indeterminacy support COMP and the associated experiments between Brussels, Washington and Moscow and is not restricted by the Quantum Non-Cloning Theorem. Psychological indeterminacy also raises the question of how different should I be until I become someone else. How big am "I"?

Yes, and the answer to the question "how different should I be until I become someone else" is ultimately arbitrary. One neo-Lockean theory in the philosophy of personal identity (I forget which philosopher this is due to, perhaps someone could enlighten me) goes like this: there are three individuals A, B, C at three sequential times t1, t2, t3 respectively. C has no recollection of ever being A or anything about A's experiences; however, B recalls something about being A, and C recalls something about being B. Therefore, with this partial transfer of memories, we can say that A and C were actually the same person. This allows us to maintain that a person with failing memory remains the same person. However, it also allows us to say that any arbitrary person X at time t1 was identical with any other arbitrary and apparently unrelated person Y at a later time t2, provided that suitable intermediates could be found between t1 and t2.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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