2009/10/1 Miroslav Dobsicek <m.dobsi...@gmail.com>:
> In the September'09 issue of The Reasoner
> Fonseca and Gartner present an argument for a difference between the
> first and third person point of view. In the October issue,
> the argument is being criticized by Erich Rast. I don't find the
> argument very convincing since their notion of simulation is too vague.
> However, I don't follow the criticism. Could someone help a little bit?
In the articles, there are two persons, P1 and P2, where P2 is an
exact physical clone of P1 created by an external observer P3. P1 has
the self S1, comprising a set of beliefs and attitudes, including the
knowledge k* that this experiment is occurring and the belief bel* "I
am P1". P2 has the self S2, which by definition contains the same set
of beliefs and attitudes, so S1=S2. The first article suggests that
bel* lacks a truth value from the POV of P1 or P2, but does have a
truth value from the POV of P3. This is claimed to be "somewhat
paradoxical", since it means S1=S2 in one case but not in the other.
However, the second article makes the point that knowledge (true
belief) depends on external reality and cannot be relative to a
simulation, and claims that this invalidates the first article's
conclusions that you can never know if you are the clone or the
original and that the identity of the self is relative to the POV.
It appears that "person" in these articles is used to mean physical
instantiation while "self" is used to mean consciousness. I don't see
why it is claimed in the first article that S1=/S2 from P3's POV,
since S refers only to subjective content, and therefore I don't see
the relevance of the second article's assertion that knowledge depends
on external reality. I agree that it is impossible to know if you are
the clone or the original but the claim that identity of the self is
relative to the POV seems to me to be meaningless.
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