On 14 Mar 2012, at 07:57, Quentin Anciaux wrote:
2012/3/14 John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com>
> I define the guy in Helsinki by whoever he believes he is, in
Helsinki. I don't need to "define" who he is,
Yes you do! You are asking me for probabilities but before I can do
that I need to know what you're talking about, I need to know whose
probability you want. That's the problem with all your thought
experiments, you set up these elaborate one act plays and then ask
what "I" will experience after numerous duplications and
complications as if we can throw around that pronoun with the same
ease we do in normal conversations that do not involve exotic
duplicating chambers. You've got to be far more careful in
philosophical conversations involving the nature of identity, but if
your question is well stated and you are clear about who "I" is then
the probabilities always reduce to 0% or 100% in all your first
person determinacy stuff, plus regular old indeterminacy of course.
For example, you asked me what the probability is that the Helsinki
guy, that's the guy who gets no tea, will get tea, and I can say
without fear of contradiction that the probability the guy who gets
no tea will get tea is zero. I know this isn't very deep but at
least it's true.
>So, if I throw a dice, the probability that I will see a six is
zero, because the guy who threw the dice is not the same as the guy
who looked on which face it landed up?
It has nothing to do with who threw the dice, the problem is that
before probability can be used it must be clear who "I" is, If you
define "I" in a way similar with what you did with the tea business
and "I" is the guy who did NOT get a 6 when the dice was rolled then
the probability this person named "I" will get a 6 is indeed zero.
And there is not a speck of indeterminacy in that.
John K Clark
Well so it's clear you're dead by now while I'm reading this
email... it's sad. If you want to absolutely be right, that's what
it means. What you're telling is that a question like "what is the
probabilty that events happens to me in one second ?" is not a
legitimate question, because me does not exists... ok, but that
position is "don't ask" and it's quite not interresting and useful.
Don't worry too much, Quentin, I thing John Clark will survive. I
think he is just inconsistent, which indeed is practically equivalent
with death, for the self-referentially correct machine.
And I agree with you, he is telling us that we die at each instant
(which I think is comp-true, but irrelevant for the probability which
abstract from the cul-de-sac, and that is what "Bp & Dt" will capture
But we can bet he is just not self-referentially correct.
What is the problem?
For some reason, he does not put himself at the place of the other
John Clarks. The "I" notion he want a definition of, is that "I". It
is the other "I" you grasp by not just attributing a mind to someone
else, but the one that you try to imagine by putting yourself at his
John Clark has already acknowledged the difficulty he has to do that
for a bat, like Nagel is asking, and I can understand that, but here,
the effort should not be that big, given that it concerns other John
Clarks, with the same past memories and character and personality.
If he does that effort, he should understand, son or later, that the
guy in Moscow will understand that he could not have been sure, in
Helsinki, to become the guy in Washington, and vice versa. And so he
might be more cautious about 0 and 100% in the next try.
He clearly seems able to do that thinking, but for unknown reason
feels manifestly bad to acknowledge the step. He might be anxious for
the future of Aristotle metaphysics, I dunno. He uses also bad
rhetorical tricks by attributing me intention, and seems even
aggressive sometimes, or is it an impression?
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