On Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 02:44:13AM +0000, David Nyman wrote:
> Thanks for this Russell, but I'm still puzzled.  As you say above, in
> a MW version of Maudlin's argument "supervenience must be across all
> branches that make up an observer moment".  These branches are in
> effect fungible, or equivalent, with respect to a particular observer
> moment. 

They are fungible in the present (at the observer moment), but not all
futures are fungible. The fact that counterfactuals do occur in
the future suffices, ISTM, to nullify Maudlin's argument.

> By the same token, branches outside this collection must be
> associated with different moments ("if my experience differs, then
> whatever I supervene on must differ also").  Consequently, isn't it
> still the case that the branches on which any particular moment
> supervenes, and which therefore constitute Maudlin's "classically"
> deterministic trivial device, specifically exclude all counterfactual
> outcomes (i.e. different moments)?  

No. See above.

> If this is so, such excluded
> branches can hardly be appealed to as part of the justification for
> the content of the moment in question, as Maudlin, in effect, argues.
> I feel I may be still missing some vital aspect of your argument.
> Perhaps you are arguing that the consciousness of an "observer" in a
> MW scenario must supervene on ALL branches, despite the fact that only
> one of the available experiences is ever personally accessible as a
> given observer moment.  But couldn't an expanded version of Maudlin's
> argument still reduce this in effect to a collection of experiences
> supervening on a corresponding collection of individually trivial
> "devices"?  And if so, if his argument from triviality is persuasive
> for one device, how is it less so for the collection?
> David

I am just trying to understand how Maudlin's argument can actually
work in a Multiverse. Plenty of people claim it is obvious, but its
not obvious to me.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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