Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > Brent Meeker writes: > > >> I would say that what makes a statement like "we're the same person from >> moment to moment" true >> is that it's an inference from, or a part of, a model of the world that is >> "true" in the >> provisional sense of scientific theories, i.e. it subsumes and predicts many >> emprically >> verified observations (e.g. if I wake you up in the middle of the night and >> ask you your name >> you'll reply 'Stathis') and it has not made any falsified predictions. So >> in this sense we >> could say that our model of personhood is better than that of the day-people >> - not in the sense >> that we can show theirs is false, but in the sense that ours has greater >> predictive power and >> scope. > > > If I were a day-person and you woke me in the middle of the night, I would > say that the person > who went to bed last night was Stathis-1 and the person now awake is > Stathis-2. I would agree > that Stathis-1 and Stathis-2 are comprised of mostly the same matter and have > similar mental > attributes, but the fact remains, the brains of my species have evolved so > that waking up from > sleep makes them believe they are a new person. This isn't a model or a > theory; it's more like > reporting that I'm hungry, or frightened. Philosophical problems arise when > this feeling of > continuity of identity (or lack of it) is equated with some empirical fact. > It happens that in > our own evolution physical and mental continuity has been strongly correlated > with the subjective > feeling of continuity of identity, and it is tempting to say that therefore > physical and mental > continuity is equivalent to or (slightly weaker) necessitates continuity of > identity. However, > this default model that we all use day to day is flawed on two counts. > Firstly, the correlation > is not necessary, but contingent on evolutionary circumstances. It is easy > enough to imagine > rational beings like the day-people who have a completely different approach > to personal > identity. Secondly, the default model is not even internally consistent, as > shown in duplication > thought experiments. If I am to be duplicated tomorrow and one of the copies > tortured, I am > worried; but when tomorrow comes, and I am not tortured, I am relieved. How > is it that I "become" > one or other copy when my mental continuity with both is the same? There is > no ambiguity in the > empirical facts, but there is ambiguity in how I experience continuity of > identity - because > these are two different things and there is no simple, consistent > relationship between them.
Well, the default model, personal continuity, is consistent absent duplications...and there ain't any yet. My example of waking you up and asking your name was a weak one. I agree with Lee that the test of a model is in the behavoir it predicts (and not just the vocal behavoir). And on that basis I think the model of personal continuity would be a better one, and you might even convince a day-person of it; Just the reverse of trying convince people here that there isn't *really* continuity. Of course if they didn't act as if there were personal continuity, their physical continuity would likely end. Brent Meeker --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---