> in awaked state. Yet I do distinguish dying and forgetting.
Let us say that we have a measure of continuation (of psychological)
identity from 1 to 0, where 1=full continuation and 0=death, and we
apply this measure from one OM to the next.
Then forgetting would be everything between 0 and 1. O, extreme
forgetting, is death.
Oliver Sacks's book "The Man who mistook his wife for a hat" comes to
mind, where he also describes a patient, Jimmie, who has severe
retrograde amnesia which started when he was around 60 or so and which
"erased" his memories up to 40 years prior.
An especially chilling episode occurs in the book when Sacks mentions
that, on the first interview with the patient, he gives him a mirror
(which Sacks regrets) and the patient gets a panic attack, because he
sees a 65 year old when he expects to be 19. Fortunately, he forgets a
few moments later. He lives in an "eternal now" being reset every few
minutes, because (through alcohol abuse) he can't develop new memories
(and in his severe case many past ones where erased).
This person has lived up to 65, but, through losing his memories, from
65 onwards one could say that he "died" with 19 (relative to his 65+
>I think "I" is a logical construction (we will come back on this).
>Memories have a big values, but "I" don't put it in my identity, nor
Hmm, I do think that memories constitutes your identity (in the wide
sense, also muscle memory as Brent mentioned). If not that,
Drescher (in Good and Real, 2006, MIT Press) for instance likens qualia
to gensyms in LISP
These functions create unique symbols, typically for use as temporary
Function: gensym &optional x
This function creates a new, uninterned symbol (using make-symbol) with
a unique name.
I am not so sure about qualia, but I think the "I" symbol fits this
description nicely: a unique symbol for use as temporary variable,
around which memories (filters on histories) gather. This "I" variable
is not really essential, what is essential is the memories (relating one
to the world). Indeed, Susan Blackmore (english naturalist
philosopher/psychologist) describes having eliminating any feeling of
"I" through meditation. To be more precise, I think she has simply
eliminated the I symbol but it is still present subsymbolically as an
anchor for memories (see also papers by Aaron Sloman and John Pollock
describing persons as virtual machines).
Plotinus Universal Soul (less mystically: the first person view) could
never die (as in: there will always be an experience in Platonia,
somewhere, somewhen (better: nowhere, nowhen); but your _personal
identity_ here on Earth in this Universe etc. ceases to exist without
Less and less memories -> means more and more histories pass through you
(assuming COMP), until, when you have lost all memories (including the
"memory" of your brain organization which leads you to be able to
process visual stimuli, same holds for other senses) which equals death
all histories pass through that state, and as Russell nicely points out
in his book (he uses bitstrings) all histories are as good as no
histories - all differences get lost, there is no person left to
appreciate (that is then indeed the true view from nowhen and nowhere -
To put up the above paragraph another way: you need memories to _be_
_someone_. To be someone is to be someone relatively to possible
histories, which gets mediated by memories.
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