Le 01-juin-06, à 03:58, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

<x-tad-bigger>I don't see that there have been any scientific developments in the last twenty years which make Parfit's thought experiments more or less plausible.

I think so.

<x-tad-bigger>The only exception I can think of is in his favour: there is speculation that teleportation may indeed be theoretically possible.

I think that classical teleportation is theoretically possible almost by definition (assuming comp). I guess you are thinking about quantum teleportation which has indeed be realized on "large" distance (about 20 up to 40 km, to my knowledge). But this is quite different: in quantum teleportation of a quantum state the "original" state has to be destroyed, for example.

<x-tad-bigger>In any case, it is telling that even Parfit's philosophical adversaries do not focus on lack of scientific plausibility as an argument against *philosophical* validity. For the most part, he could have made the same points had he been writing a century ago, drawing on religious mythology rather than science fiction for his thought experiments.</x-tad-bigger>
<x-tad-bigger> </x-tad-bigger>
<x-tad-bigger>Perhaps a philosopher on the list could comment?</x-tad-bigger>

Oops, sorry. But perhaps I am a philosopher too? After all Pythagoras invented the term :)
In any case I agree with you. Thought experiment on soul and identity, including what happens in case of duplication appears already implicitly in Plotinus, and explicitly in Augustine.


PS: I will comment some ascension's posts tomorrow (hopefully: if not it will be for Saturday).


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