On Nov 21, 2008, at 8:15 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> On 21 Nov 2008, at 10:45, Kory Heath wrote:
>> However, the materialist-mechanist still has some grounds to say that
>> there's something interestingly different about Lucky Kory than
>> Original Kory. It is a physical fact of the matter that Lucky Kory is
>> not causally connected to Pre-Teleportation Kory.
>
>
> Keeping the comp hyp (cf the "qua computatio") this would introduce  
> magic.

I'm not sure it has to. Can you elaborate on what magic you think it  
ends up introducing?

In the context of mechanism-materialism, I am forced to believe that  
Lucky Kory's consciousness, qualia, etc., are exactly what they would  
have been if the teleportation had worked properly. But I don't see  
how that forces me to accept any magic. It doesn't (for instance)  
force me to say that Kory's "real" consciousness magically jumped over  
to Lucky Kory despite the lack of the causal connection. As a  
mechanist, I don't think there's any sense in talking about  
consciousness in that way.

Dennett has a slogan: "When you describe what happens, you've  
described everything." In this weird case, we have to fall back on  
describing what happened. A pattern of molecules was destroyed, and  
somewhere else that exact pattern was (very improbably) created by a  
random process of cosmic rays. Since we mechanists believe that  
consciousness and qualia are just aspects of patterns, the  
consciousness and qualia of the lucky pattern must (by definition) be  
the same as the original would have been. I don't think that causes  
any (immediate) problem for the mechanist. Is Lucky Kory the same  
person as Original Kory? I don't think the mechanist is committed to  
any particular answer to this question. We've already described what  
happened. Now it's just a matter of how we want to use our words. If  
we want to use them in a certain way, there is a sense in which we can  
say that Lucky Kory is not the same person as Original Kory, as long  
as we understand that *all* we mean is that Lucky Kory isn't causally  
connected to Original Kory (along with whatever else that implies).

However, I do start getting uncomfortable when I realize that this  
lucky teleportation can happen over and over again, and if it happens  
fast enough, it just reduces to sheer randomness that just happens to  
be generating an ordered pattern that looks like Kory. I have a hard  
time understanding how a mechanist can consider a bunch of random  
numbers to be conscious. If that's the kind of magic you're referring  
to, then I agree.

-- Kory


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