2010/1/21 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

> Not necessarily psychological.  A materialist theory also includes the idea
> of information preservation in material form.  In the thought experiment
> about copies, it is assumed that the information content of the those
> "terminated" is lost.  But it's not clear to me when you talk about "running
> in parallel" whether you are assuming these copies are really causally
> linked so whatever is experienced by one is experienced by all.  ISTM in
> that case there is only one consciousness anyway.

The copies are running in parallel because they are on computers
running the same program with the same initial parameters. After a
time, some of the computers are destroyed. Most people would probably
say that the individuals running on the computers that are destroyed
will die even though the remaining computers continue running
individuals with the same mental qualities. That is, they will
explicitly deny that psychological continuity guarantees survival.
However, they will then say that they themselves survive even if their
brain is replaced with different matter, which to maintain consistency
would mean that the people in the destroyed computers also
survive.That's why I say those who claim a materialist theory of
personal identity actually believe in a psychological theory, but just
don't realise it.

Stathis Papaioannou

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