Mark Peaty writes:
SP: '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. ,
MP: I have answered this, in responding to Brent. In summary I say: if it is
just A [any old] rendition of a human you want, then given that thought
experiments allow that all practical challenges can be overcome, the answer is
Yes! On the other hand if the strict requirement of an exact copy of a
particular person is required to be output then it becomes a question of
whether or not truly infinite computing power is required to calculate the
changes occurring within the original at scan time. If it is then the answer is
NO, because infinity is infinity.
I think Derek Parfit's copier [Reasons and Persons Ch 10] was 'usually'
producing complete and accurate copies, because one of his scenarios addresses
what would happen if there was a fault in the transmission.
The brain manages to maintain identity from moment to moment without perfect
copying or infinite computing power. Of course, you may need very good copying
and very great computing power, but this is different in kind, not just in
degree, from perfect copying and infinite computing power.
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