On 31 Mar 2009, at 12:34, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> 2009/3/31 Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>:
>>> It does indeed present conceptual difficulties. The problem is that
>>> our notion of personal identity is dependent on the world in which  
>>> we
>>> evolved, where these duplication experiments don't happen. The
>>> conceptual difficulties vanish if we say that there is no such
>>> metaphysical entity as a person persisting through time, but  
>>> rather a
>>> set of observer moments, each one complete in itself and independent
>>> from the others, which only associate due to their information  
>>> content
>>> - their psychological connectedness. In other words, we all survive
>>> only momentarily, but we have the illusion of persisting through  
>>> time
>>> due to memory, quasi-memory or partial memory.
>> I agree, but this does not answer the question. To extract the
>> physical laws we have to define that psychological connectness, and  
>> it
>> refers to the notion of person. It is no metaphysical than atoms
>> molecules or galaxies. Those are also mind composition which can be
>> considered as relative stable and useful constructs. We have to  
>> relate
>> those things, to extract information from the assumptions. The point
>> is no more philosophical.
> A person can be well-defined in the same way as, say, the Middle Ages
> can be well-defined, simply by agreeing on a particular range of
> dates. But the notion of "Middle Ages" is not basic to physics.

At this stage, physics is what we have to explain.

> A
> historian could come along and argue for one reason and another that
> the Middle Ages should not be considered to have ended until the year
> 1800, and although we might disagree with him we can't say that he is
> wrong in the same way he would be wrong if he claimed that the British
> landed in Australia in 1066. Similarly with personhood, we could come
> up with a definition, eg. that a person consists of the series or
> person-stages such that each person-stage shares some memories with
> the preceding and succeeding person-stage, but you wouldn't be wrong
> if you rejected the definition, in the way you could be wrong about a
> matter of fact concerning a particular person-stage.

I don't understand the analogy, because something like "Middle Ages"  
is not supposed to have an inner subjectivity. And we have to put the  
probabilities on the possible inner expectations, when trying to  
extract physics from computer science.

>>> I would consider a period of consciousness with complete destruction
>>> of the ego, such as induced by Salvia Divinorum, as equivalent to a
>>> period of unconsciousness or an unrelated person's consciousness,
>>> provided there were no memory of the event as the experience was
>>> resolving.
>> But the amnesic, the dreamer and the salvia experiencer have a memory
>> of the events. Kelly did not dream that he disappears, but that he  
>> was
>> 7 old. To eliminate the first person white rabbits, the devil comes
>> from the fact that we have to use *some* notion of person.
> If memories of the event are retained then it is possible to define a
> persisting person. If all memories are lost and never return, then we
> may as well say the original person has died.

I am not sure. Unless you identify death and amnesia. But that is what  
makes the trouble for extracting physics from numbers.
What is your opinion for the "Alzheimer" problem I just asked to  

We are in deep waters here, and I apology if I am pushing too much.  
With AUDA, the math shows that the notion of person is unavoidable,  
for any sufficiently rich (Lobian) machine. I believe more in persons  
than atoms, but I have to explain the atoms from a notion of  
continuity of persons, and I think the continuity is not in the  
memories, but in the self-referential loop itself.



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to