Brent Meeker writes:
Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 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
> 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
> Stathis Papaioannou
And does it even have to be very good? Suppose it made a sloppy copy of me that left out
90% of my memories - would it still be "me"? How much fidelity is required for
Bruno's argument? I think not much.
I don't think there is any clear answer to that question. Even more difficult to
answer, if I were copied 10 times in 10 different locations, with each copy having
progressively fewer of my original memories (i.e. copy no. 1 has 100% while copy
no. 10 has only 10%), what should my expectation of where I will end up be?
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