On 31 Oct 2011, at 06:20, meekerdb wrote:

On 10/30/2011 5:09 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
A common response to the idea of QTI is, Why should I care if I die and someone else in another world who thinks he is me survives? But this objection shows a lack of understanding of consciousness works if there are multiple instantiations.

But multiple instantiations is exactly what we do not experience. So the existence of other people who think they are me is purely a speculative inference. According the theory they aren't me, they just share some past history. Bruno emphasizes that his experience with Salvia implies that "he" exists independent of his history. But this "he" is still not multiple. I haven't used Salvia, but I suspect that experience still requires at least short histories.

Hmm... let me try to restate what I tried to convey. In fact I have always thought that consciousness always relate to time or a time quale. So I was very happy that the simplest definition of first person, given by the Theatetus' notion of knower (Bp & p) leads both to a logic of knowledge (S4) and of time (S4Grz = (roughly) a temporal logic with a notion of irreversiblity). In that way the knower is a "time builder", and it explains why consciousness/knowledge is intrinsically related to time. It consolidate also the relation between the first person and the intuitionist conception of the conscious subject (Brouwer).

I mentioned the salvia experience as providing a very curious hallucination looking like a counter-example to this. It seems indeed possible to be conscious without any feeling of time- duration. This is absolutely unimaginable. Even a color qualia seems to be conceivable only through some duration. Yet, under salvia, it happens that we can get a state of consciousness which seems to be completely atemporal. In reports, some describe this as a form of eternity, but this is because, I think, we have just no word for that type of consciousness, because it does not refer to something lasting an infinite time, nor a short time, just no time at all. It is just not lasting at all. This makes me doubt that the knower is the originator of consciousness, and that consciousness might be deeper than we can think from the simple knower theory related to the mechanist hypothesis. Unfortunately such intuition are impossible to convey (and indeed altered state consciousness can only refute a theory, or inspire a theory, but cannot be taken as communicable data).

Now, I am not sure that any of this is relevant for criticizing Stathis' comment. In a quantum differentiation, like when we observe, with a {up, down} discriminating apparatus, a particle in a state like 1/sqrt(2)(up + down), as well as in a digital mechanist differentiation, like when we are annihilated in some place and reconstituted in two different places, consciousness remains singular by virtue of having the whole mechanist brain made into "two" (could be two infinities with similar measure) brains. Without introducing some telepathic powers, each brain can only refer to itself (or to the person corresponding to that brain), for the same reason that if you play chess with a machine, you can copy its state, and play two different ends-game from that. You would find supernatural that, when playing a second end-game, the machine could refer to the first end- game (that would be magical). In other words, personal identity is an illusion which is very simple to explain (by the connexity used for memory and self-reference). Consciousness is harder to explain, and is hardly an illusion.



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