Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Le 30-juin-06, à 21:34, Brent Meeker a écrit :
>>>John M:
>>>Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
>>>on solipsism?
>>Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models.  The 
>>fact that they work well and are
>>coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not 
>>a personal illusion - but I
>>can still doubt that they *are reality* itself.  In other words I take 
>>them to be like scientific
>>theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.
> You are not answering John, I think, Brent. A scientist who send a 
> paper to a journal does not assume her aper will be read, he just hope 
> for. To bet on the other's first person experience is not of the kind 
> "scientific" and refutable.

Sure it is.  Just because something cannot be directly experienced doesn't rule 
it out of a 
scienctific model: quarks can't be observed, but their effects can.  So I 
believe in other people's 
first person experience because that is a good way to predict their behavoir.  
I consult a model in 
which I use my first person experience to perdict how they will behave - this 
is called emphathizing 
- and I find it works pretty well.

>>I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I 
>>feel in those memories arises
>>only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime 
>>and I remember emotions.
> I agree.
>>are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent 
>>with my model of myself as a
>>being who persists over time.
> All right, but at the first person level, there is a point where you 
> *are* the model/theory/machine, like when you embed a map of Finland 
> into Finland: as far as you allow "continuous" transformation of the 
> map (remaining embedded in Finland) there will be a "fixed point": a 
> point of the map which is exactly and literaly on the corresponding 
> locality of Finland.

I don't understand the application of this analogy.  When I say I have a model 
of the world (which 
includes myself) I mean I have a set of concepts and rules for manipulating 
them that allows me to, 
in a limited and provisional way to interact successfully with what I take to 
be an external 
reality.  This doesn't necessarily have the same topology as the external 
reality, so I don't see 
how the fixed point theorem applies.  The same would apply to my computer.  It 
has a map of the 
United States coded into its memory, but it is in a binary representation 
distributed across several 
registers  - a different topology than the planar surface of the United States. 
 So while my 
computer has a location in the U.S. (as I have in my model of reality) there is 
no point in my 
computer memory that corresponds to the same point in the U.S.

> The diagonalization procedures can be used for finding the similar 
> fixed point of computable transformations.
> Also: when you say "yes" to a "teleporting doctor", you assume the 
> artificial brain is not just a model of yourself, but that it 
> implements genuinely, albeit in a relative numerical way, you first 
> person pasts/futures.

No, I only bet that it will have first person experiences as I would have if I 
had continued in my 
biological form.  I don't know what "implements genuinely" means - it seems to 
imply some extra 
ingredient (spirit?) that makes an implementation "genuine".

Brent Meeker

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