On Jun 17, 2005, at 10:17 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
<snip>
I still find it hard to understand this argument. The question "What
is it like to be a bat?" still has meaning, but is probably
unanswerable (although Dennett, I notice considers it answerable,
contra Nagel!)


Dennett considers it answerable, but he thinks the answer is probably "Nothing at all".
That is, it isn't "like" anything at all to be a bat, because bats can do all the tasks they need to do to get by without it being "like" anything at all for them.

I still think the confusion over personal identity is due to the misplaced importance we're putting on the concept of "I".  

Here's what Bruno said later:
"Note that here we can understand why the question "why I am the one in W" or "why I am the one in M" are 100% meaningless. This does not entail that the question where will I be in the next duplication is meaningless."

I think the second question, "where will I be in the next duplication", is also meaningless.  I think that if you know all the 3rd-person facts before you step into the duplicator - that there will be two doubles made of you in two different places, and both doubles wil be psychologically identical at the time of their creation such that each will say they are you - then you know everything there is to know.  There is no further question of "which one will >I< be"?  This is simply a situation which pushes the folk concept of "I" past its breaking point; we don't need to posit any kind of dualism to paper over it, we just have to revise our concept of "I".

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