Russell Standish wrote: > >BTW another analogy is the islands of geneflow within biological >species. Within biology, we have such things as ring species, where >two species at a location (eg Britain) cannot interbreed, yet can >interbreed with neighbouring species to the east and west in an >interrupted chain that circumnavigates the pole. (Sorry I may not be >explaining the concept of ring species too well - look up Wikipedia). > >In such a case, perhaps "ring identities" such as Jesse Mazer <-> >Bruno Marchal do exist - but I'd like to be surer of the analogy. Also >ring species are the exception, not the rule, in Nature.
Ring species are the exception, but that's just because of extinction--if you had a time machine and could collect specimens from throughout history, of course any species could be smoothly joined to any other by tracing back each one's lineage to their common ancestor. Anyway, I agree with your basic point--although practical possibility is not important to philosophical thought-experiments, *logical* possibility certainly is, and if there were no smooth path between me and Napoleon (or Bruno or anyone else) in the phase space of all possible minds/brains, such that every intermediate point on the path was a single integrated mind, then Parfit's thought-experiment wouldn't work. I don't think this "island" idea is very plausible given the hugeness of the space of all possible minds/brains, but it can't be ruled out. Jesse --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---