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 other person.
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 elsewhere? 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). Jason On Apr 26, 3:11 pm, "John Mikes" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > Interleaving ONE tiny question: > > On 4/20/07, Jason <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > (Jason:) > "<...Personhood becomes fuzzy and a truly object treatment of conscious > experience might do well to abandon the idea of personal identity > altogether. ...>" > > Sais WHO? > > John --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---