On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> You are, by definition asked to predict which one.
If the person asking the question demands one and only one prediction then
he has made the very silly logical assumption that there can only be one
> Your two predictions:
> 1)I Bruno Marchal will write in my diary "I Bruno Marchal am now in
> Washington and only Washington".
> 2)I Bruno Marchal will write in my diary "I Bruno Marchal am now in Moscow
> and only Moscow".
> cannot work for this, because "1)" and "2)" are simply incompatible
Yes they are incompatible, but only if you make a very silly assumption,
but I have not done so.
> Each "bruno marchal" will see that only one of the two has been realized,
Yes, from his point of view he will only have proof that half of the
prediction is true and it will remain that way until he receives a fax from
the other Bruno Marchal definitively proving in black and white that the
entire prediction was 100% correct.
> When the W-John Clark and the M-John Clark will look at their diaries and
> see the two predictions,
>They will understand that only one of the two prediction has been
> verified, from their first person point of view,
No. I've read my diary and I've read the fax from the other John and from
my first person point of view I know that all the predictions made have
been verified, and the other John agrees, and so does any third party.
> If they redo the experience, they know that the prediction bears on the
> future unique first person experience. Which one cannot be predicted in
> advance for obvious logical reason.
In physics we say there is indeterminacy and the meaning of that is clear,
in this universe we can't know the position and momentum of something with
unlimited accuracy, perhaps in another universe you can but not in this
one. I can imagine a experiment that would prove physical indeterminacy is
untrue, that's why it's meaningful, but when you talk about "first person
indeterminacy" I don't understand what would satisfy you that it is untrue.
It seems to me you are trying to find something profound from the fact that
the Washington man will not see Moscow because if he did then he would not
be the Washington man, he'd be the Moscow man.
Even if it's not possible I can imagine what the desire to have a magic way
to know the exact momentum and position of something would mean, but I
don't know what overcoming "first person indeterminacy" would look like in
this universe or any other. I don't know what you think is missing in the
> Just after the experience is done, they will each know for sure which one
> among 1) and 2) has been realized,
They can't very well do it before the experience because before then
neither the Washington man nor the Moscow man exists and only the
experience of living in those cities creates them. I don't understand what
exactly the prediction is lacking that illustrates this "first person
indeterminacy" that you think is so very deep.
> In case you have not yet grasp the question,
And I most certainly have not grasped the question! I don't understand what
more you expect a successful prediction to do. If the evidence in the
diaries is not good enough exactly what would convince you that "first
person indeterminacy" has been overcome. I can tell you exactly what would
convince me that physical indeterminacy has been overcome, just the exact
measurement of the momentum and position of something; all I ask is that
without getting all metaphysical give me a concrete experiment that could
actually be performed that would convince you that "first person
indeterminacy" has been overcome. If you can't do that it's not science.
> I insist that the question bears only on that future first person
Like the first person experience of writing and reading a diary, a
experience which fortunately can be shared with a third party outside
observer; I say fortunately because otherwise we'd be talking about
mystical metaphysics not science.
> Not on a third person description of bodies nor on a third person
description of first person experiences, only on the first person
The only first person experience I know directly is my own, and science is
not good at making grand universal conclusions from only one example.
> Or give me the algorithm which will choose among 1) and 2)
OK, but First give me a algorithm that produces one unique answer to the
question "Is 3 greater than 2 OR is 4 greater than 2?". If you can not
produce a single answer then the question is indeterminate, and it's also
John K Clark
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