I borrowed a copy of Parfit's book from UNSW's library. I daresay USyd
will have a copy too, perhaps even the State library.

Unless you meant my book, to which you've already had a sneak
preview. It can be purchased from http://www.booksurge.com.au, but I
will make an announcement on that in a few weeks' time.

Cheers

On Sat, May 27, 2006 at 06:01:47PM +1000, Kim Jones wrote:
> 
> Russ
> 
> where can I get a copy of this alarming book?
> 
> 
> cheers
> 
> 
> Kim
> 
> 
> On 24/05/2006, at 5:28 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
> 
> >
> > Several list members cajoled me into reading David Parfit's "Reasons
> > and Persons". So I braved our dragon infested library, and sourced a
> > copy. I can see why his book is relevant to this list, particularly
> > part 3 of his book "Personal Identity". It was a good recommendation -
> > I can certainly recommend this as one of the background readers - too
> > late it missed the cutoff for my book :)
> >
> > However, there was one thought experiment that concerned me, and it
> > relates to his notion of psychological spectrum. We are to suppose
> > that it is possible to generate psyches in between our mind and that
> > of Napoleon Bonaparte, by progressively swapping in neurons from NB's
> > brain.
> >
> > Since we have a number of closet computationlists here, I paraphrased
> > the thought experiment as what if we swapped the transistors in my PC
> > for that of a (old-style PPC) Mac. At first, there would be little
> > difference, and the machine would be indistinguishable from that of a
> > PC - save a few bugs (anyone remember the Pentium division
> > bug?). Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, the machine would
> > be virtually indistinguishable from a Mac. But what about the machines
> > in the middle? Surely these machine would simply be
> > non-functional. Replacing PC transistors with Mac transistors would be
> > no different from simply disabling the PC transistors - eventually a
> > critical path would be severed, and the machine would be defunct.
> >
> > No two human brains are wired identically - indeed our daily
> > experience updates the connections between our neurons. Gradually
> > replacing neurons in our brain by someone else's neurons would have
> > the same effect as simply removing neurons one-by-one. For a while,
> > there would be little noticable effect - brains are, after all quite
> > robust against damage. But eventually, and well before the magical 50%
> > mark I would suggest, the structural organisation of our brain would
> > be lost, and we'd lose consciousness.
> >
> > Since quite a bit of Parfit's later arguments depend on this
> > psychological spectrum thought experiment, it seems some of his
> > identity issues aren't in fact problems at all. Anyone have a comment
> > on this, or is it all obvious philosophy 101 stuff that I missed.
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > --  
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> > ------
> > A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
> > Mathematics                                        0425 253119 (")
> > UNSW SYDNEY 2052                     [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> > Australia                                http:// 
> > parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
> >             International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> > ------
> >
> > 
> 
> 
-- 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                                    0425 253119 (")
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]             
Australia                                http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
            International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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