Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
2010/1/19 Nick Prince <m...@dtech.fsnet.co.uk>:
Perhaps you misunderstood my reference to the use of copies. What I
meant was why they are considered as an indication of measure at the
beginning of thought experiments such as the one you discussed (tea/
coffe). Jaques Mallah uses them too (I’d like to discuss one of these
on the list at a later time). I am not sure why we cannot consider
the experiment as just happening to a single copy. That way there
would be no confusion regarding whether “differentiation” is playing
an important role. Otherwise I have no difficulty in realising the
value of using the copy idea.
If we did the experiment with a single copy that would completely
change it. The copy would have a 90% chance of dying, a 3% of
surviving and getting coffee and a 7% of surviving and getting tea.
In particular, my views on personal
identity have been shaped by these, and I especially can relate to
Bruno's ideas the (eight steps of his SANE paper) at least up to the
stage just before he discusses platonic realism as a source of a UD
which actually "exists"platonically rather than concretely. I do need
to think more about this part though. In short the idea that a copy
of me can/could be made, to such a level of detail so that it is
essentially me, I feel intuitively is correct in principle. However I
am concerned that the no clone theorem might be a problem for the
continuity of personhood.
If the no clone theorem were a problem then you could not survive more
than a moment, since your brain is constantly undergoing classical
From what I can gather Bruno seems to think
not - or at least not important for what he wants to convey - but I
would want to explore this at some stage. Otherwise I can feel that
there should be no reason why copies should not have continuity of
personhood over spatio-temporal intervals and feel themselves to be
"identical" (I think of identity as continuity of personhood) - or at
least consistent extensions of the original person. Moreover I also
believe that if a suitable computer simulation can be built to the
right level of detail, which contained the copy as a software
construct, then this copy could be a virtual implementation within a
rendered environment that would indeed similarly believe himself/
herself to be a consistent extension of the original. I suppose I am
essentially a computationalist, although I am not clear as to the
difference between it and functionalism yet apart from Turing
emulability. I am also comfortable with the idea of differentiation so
that if copies can be placed in lock step, as they presumably are
across worlds, then 10, 20 or 2000 copies will be felt to be the same
conscious entity. You will see that I accept the many worlds theory
too. These beliefs are based on either my own prejudice or my
intuition but are really more like working hypotheses rather than
fixed beliefs and are certainly open to revision or modification. I
find the QTI difficult to swallow which is why I want to understand
the definitions and concepts associated with it. I want to be able to
understand the heated debate about it and QS between Jack and Russell.
What do you think could happen if there were 100 copies of you running
in parallel and 90 were terminated? If you think you would definitely
continue living as one of the 10 remaining copies then to be
consistent you have to accept QTI. If you think there is a chance that
you might die I find it difficult to understand how this could be
reconciled with any consistent theory of personal identity.
It's a straightforward consequence of a materialist theory of personal
identity. Whether you survive or not depends on which body you are and
whether it died.
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