Mark Peaty writes:
SP: 'So given months or years, you really are like a car in which every single
component has been replaced, the only remaining property of the original car
being the design'
MP: Yes, indeed. For the word design here, I prefer to use 'structure', with
the proviso that the structure/s we are interested in is/are not just static
but some are dynamic. I like to use the word 'construct' [noun] to refer to
these things. The kinds of changes occurring may be summarised in a very
general sense as of three types:
1/ apparent non-change, which might be really invariant down to the smallest
level of measurement, but might also be cases of just oscillation about some
average length or volume [say] with no significant topological, charge or mass
2/ cyclical changes in which topology, charge, charge distributions, or mass,
whatever, vary in some significant repeating way, and
3/ non-repeating changes which might be manifestations of growth and
development, creation of memories, damage from disease or just entropy-the
passage of time.
Getting back to the original question about teleportation experiments, are you
saying that it would be impossible, or just technically very difficult to
preserve personal identity whilst undergoing such a process? As Brent pointed
out, technical difficulty is not an issue in thought experiments.
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