Arriving at a consistent and reasonable-sounding theory of personal identity
in the multiverse is difficult, to say the least. Some list members in the
past have argued that all copies of a person have an equal claim to that
person's identity, so that we should feel responsible for the actions of
even those parallel copies whose memories we will never share. I object to
this on the grounds that it is unfair (it's not my fault if a parallel copy
commits a crime, nor do I benefit in any way if a parallel copy has a
rewarding experience), and also because any criterion for how similar two
individuals have to be in order to be considered copies is ultimately
arbitrary. I think the clearest way to talk about these matters is to
relinquish the notion that two copies could be the "same person" in any
objective or absolute sense. This naturally leads to the smallest possible
unit of personhood, delimited in time, space and multiverse, and loosely
analogous to the (somewhat controvesial) observer moment or observer-moment.
In other words, if you say that it was Joe Bloggs at a specific time, place
and multiverse branch who did the murder, there can be no argument about the
identity of the accused. But if you then ask if this is the same Joe Bloggs
a day or a year before or after the murder, the old philosophical arguments
about personal identity all arise, and we have to answer that *by
convention*, it is, and *by convention*, the older Joe Bloggs in those
multiverse branches where he recalls committing the crime, but not the
younger Joe Bloggs, and not the older Joe Bloggs in those multiverse
branches where (in the absence of a memory disorder) he does not recall
committing the crime, deserves to be punished.
>[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> > Georges Quenot wrote:
> >> [EMAIL PROTECTED] a écrit :
> >>> Georges Quenot wrote:
> >>>> If you are a being that have never observed magical events
> >>>> any duplicate of you "will" never have observed any magical
> >>>> event either (otherwise you would differ and no longer be
> >>>> true duplicates).
> >>> That doesn't work the other way round. A duplicate of me up to
> >>> 16:51 GMT 20 mar 2006 could suddenly start observing them.
> >> Your duplicate will know. Not You. And he will no longer
> >> be your duplicate.
> > I am, conventionally, the same person as my previous selves.
> > I have their memories.
>No. You may have lost some of them, acquired some new
>ones and still share most of them (if the previous self
>you consider is not too far in the past). In some sense,
>you are the same person and in some sense you are a
> > My duplicate will have my memories.
>Your duplicate will have the same memories as you. This
>is not the same thing. Once your duplicate experience
>something different of what you do, his acquired (and
>possibly his lost) memories will differ from yours. He
>will still share most of your previous common memories
>but he will not know your new ones and you will not
>know his new ones. If he evenutally encoutered Harry
>Potter and you do not, whatever memories you shared
>before, you will not share these ones.
> > Or are you saying that I am not the same person as my
> > previous selves ?
>As I said above, in some sense, you are the same person
>and in some sense you are a different person. I feel I
>am the same person as I was 25 years ago and meanwhile
>I also feel very different. Maybe you also experienced
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