On 03 Jul 2012, at 12:05, David Nyman wrote:
On 3 July 2012 08:09, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm pretty sure John understands the argument but he prefers to give
primacy to the objective/third-person viewpoint. The first-person
viewpoint involves an assumption that I am a single person travelling
through time in the forward direction, which when looked at
objectively is an illusion. Some people are offended by illusions.
If that is indeed the case, Stathis, it would spare us all a great
deal of pointless argument if he simply made this preference as
explicit as you have just done.
It seems so to me too. He would, like some people, just dismiss the 1-
pov. But John understands well the 1-pov, as illustrated by the fact
that he does agree that both copies will feel unique, in one place. So
he remains just illogical in his last step when he just systematically
forget that the question was bearing on the 1pov. Putting the emphasis
somewhere else, in this case, is nothing less than simply avoiding the
If that is what we are talking about, then I agree that the
subjective experience of moving forwards in time is essentially
illusory, in the sense that each individuated first-person
perspective obscures a deeper, more general level of explanation.
But the indeterminacy being discussed here precisely concerns
appearances from the individuated perspective; the "illusion"
itself, if you like.
Yes. And that illusion is more real than any third person object we
might invent to explain that illusion.
This is the whole point of the argument. Hence attempting to evade
it by dint of substituting an "objective" description is an
absolutely classic example of a straw man.
It seems to me too, indeed.
Of course, if Stathis think John Clark is offended by illusion, we can
understand why John want to be stuck in a reasoning whose conclusion
will make the primitive physical reality two times more illusory,
given that we don't even experience it.
That's the reason why I would avoid the term "illusion" for any
conscious experience. The raw experience cannot be an illusion, as
consciousness cannot be an illusion. You can't wake up and say "I
dreamed that I was conscious, but that was an illusion", nor can you
say "I dreamed that I dream, but that was an illusion".
Personal identity, time, space, things like that can be "illusion",
but only for those who attach a primitive reality to it. It is not
more an illusion that the net or a cyber form of life. The experiences
remains real, in all situations, and as scientists we can try to
relate it to objective existing patterns, like computations and
relative self-observing numbers.
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