George Levy writes:
 
> Stephen Paul King wrote:
>
> >    I would like to point out that you may have inadvertently veered into 
> >the problem that I see in the "Yes Doctor" belief! It is entirely 
> >unverifiable. 
> >
> It is unverifiable from the 3rd person perspective. From the first 
> person perspective it is perfectly verifiable. "I" will not observe any 
> changes in "myself" after the (brain) substitution. This is a 
> fundamental invariance and it is another argument why the first person 
> perspective should be the primary one and the 3rd one should be the 
> derived one. And here again specifying the frame of reference is 
> important to avoid confusion.

Sort of true. The person with the new brain may believe that he is the same person as the original, but he is in the same position as an outside observer as far as proving this goes. The observer says: "he seems to be the same person as far as I can tell, but it is impossible to know whether he might have completely different mental qualities, or no mental qualities at all". The subject himself says: "I think that I am the same person as the original, in that I have what I believe to be his memories and sense of personal identity, but there is no way even in theory for me to know that I am not in fact a completely different person with different mental qualities, or indeed that the person I recall having been was alive or sentient at all." Of course, this is also true with living life normally from moment to moment, so I'm not worried as long as the imagined continuity with a new brain is of roughly the same type.
 
I still think it is simpler and and more consistent if we say that 1st person experience can only be meaningful in the present: when we think about other minds, whether that means the minds of strangers, of our duplicates walking out of the teleporter, or of our past selves, then we are making a third person extrapolation of a first person experience.
 
Stathis Papaioannou


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