(Sorry for the delay; I like to spend several hours writing here but I have had meetings to attend etc..)

On Jun 22, 2005, at 4:19 AM, Brent Meeker wrote:
There are two *physical* issues here.

1) The simplest one is that if you agree with the comp indeterminacy
(or similar) you get an explanation of the quantum indeterminacy
without the collapse of the wave packet. This is mainly Everett
contribution.



I do see how comp / "first-person" indeterminacy can account for, or can be equivalent to, quantum indeterminacy.   In other words, asking "Why am I the one in Washington instead of Moscow" is like asking "Why am I the one who sees the cat is still alive", etc.  But my point is that we don't need to postulate "primitive" first-person phenomena like observer moments to account for the larger 3rd person fact, which is just that there will exist people who are going to ask these questions.  I'd rather postulate classes of third-person phenomena (such as those that fall into Dennett's 'intentional stance') that are able to explain the *apparent* first-person phenomena such as the absence of white rabbits.  That way Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason remains intact:  it isn't the case that "There's no sufficient reason why I find myself in Moscow"; rather, there *is* a reason why there's one person in Moscow, and one in Washington, and they're both asking certain questions that contain the word "I".


2) The less trivial one, perhaps, is that if you agree with the comp
indeterminacy you get an a priori explosion of the number of
appearances of first person white rabbits

I don't see that either.  The SWE doesn't predict that *everything* (which is
what I presume you to mean by "white rabbits") will happen.  If it did it would
be useless.


-or (if I understand correctly) it doesn't predict that everything will happen to the same extent. But, anyway, I agree that the white rabbit problem is real, although I see it as a third person problem rather than an (intrinsically) first person problem. 
 

and the only way to solve
this, assuming the SWE is correct,  must consist in justifying the SWE
from the comp indeterminacy bearing



But the "indeterminancy" of comp arises from equivocation about "I" as Pete
noted.  It assumes first that there is an "I" dependent on physical structure
and then sees a problem in determining where the "I" goes when the structure is
duplicated.

Right - I think that the "physical structure" (which I'm happy to equate with mathematical structure, or a program, etc.) is all there is - and once you've explained that, you've explained everything.  The "I" that comes out of it is a very useful pattern to us but it isn't something further, something primitive.  The best example I can think of where the "first person as primitive" reasoning takes us into weird territory, is the talk of "observer moments".  I think that taking these as primitive leads us into error; in particular the idea that there's a definite answer to the question "what observer moment am I now experiencing?".


Best regards 
Pete Carlton

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