Two things in my mind make personal identity fuzzy:
1. The MWI of quantum mechanics, which if true means each "person"
experiences a perhaps infinite number of histories across the multi-
verse. Should personal identity extend to just one branch or to all
branches? If all branches where do you draw the line between who is
and is not that person? Remember across the multi-verse you can move
across branches that differ only by the location of one photon,
therefore there is a continuum linking a person in one branch to any
2. Duplication/transportation/simulation thought experiments, which
show that minds can't be tied to a single physical body, simulation
thought experiments suggest there doesn't even have to be a physical
body for there to be a person. If a person can be reduced to
information is it the same person if you modify some bits (as time
does), how many bits must be modified before you no longer consider it
to be the same person? What happens if you make copies of those bits
(as the MWI implies happens), or destroy one copy and reconstitute it
Person identity is useful when talking about everyday situations, but
I think it muddies things, especially if one tries to bind a
continuous conscious experience with a person. For example, how can
you explain what happens if one were to make 5 exact duplicates of
some individual? Do you say their consciousness fractures, do you say
it multiplies, do you say it selects one of them? Just because
observers have memories of experiencing the same observer's past
perspectives in no way implies there is a single consciousness that
follows a person as they evolve through time (even though it very much
seems that way subjectively).
On Apr 26, 3:11 pm, "John Mikes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Interleaving ONE tiny question:
> On 4/20/07, Jason <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> "<...Personhood becomes fuzzy and a truly object treatment of conscious
> experience might do well to abandon the idea of personal identity
> altogether. ...>"
> Sais WHO?
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