On 5 July 2012 08:25, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
The proof if by absurdo. Suppose there is an algorithm, or even just a God
> capable of predicting the specific outcome among "1)" and "2)". Suppose it
> is "1)", then the guy in Moscow refutes it, and comp invites us to listen
> to him. If it is "2), then the guy in washington refutes it, and comp
> invites us to listen to him.
> Indeterminacy has not been assumed: it results from the trivial fact that
> I am copied in the same state in two different place so that I can't
> predict which differentation will occur from my first person perspective.
This is where it may be more explicit - and hence clearer - to express the
logic in terms of Hoyle's heuristic, in my view. To remind you, a unique
first person locus is first assumed, all experiential content then being
the consequence of a unique stochastic multiplexing of the entire class of
sentient moments, from this singular perspective. The "objective"
substrate, on which sentience may be supposed to supervene, is assumed to
be deterministic, as is the experiential multiplex, whose role is to make
explicit a means of conceiving an entire class as a serialisation. But
this latter conceptualisation allows us to bring an *explicit
indeterminism*into the picture, against what appears as an otherwise
deterministic background. An explicit stochastic multiplexing of moments
mandates that all occasions of sentience must take their place in due
course and in due measure, relativised to whatever "personal histories" may
be recoverable from the internal logic of the deterministic substrate.
There are several useful aspects of this way of thinking, I believe.
Firstly, it takes seriously the singularity of first-personal location.
Secondly, it makes explicit a generalised first-personal indeterminacy as a
fundamental characteristic of experience. Thirdly, and importantly, it
prises apart two distinct aspects of temporal experience: "replaces" and
"logically prior or next". Stochastic multiplexing of moments mediates the
former aspect: this moment - the moment "as given" - replaces all others in
experience. It is only in the context of the moment as given that
logico-temporal ordering becomes relativised to a particular personal
history, as mediated by the deterministic substrate.. Thus Bruno's, John's
or David's occasions of experience become relativised to their particular
reference (or relevance) class through, in effect, the selective memory of
a more generalised stochastic "process". In this way, each of us can speak
meaningfully of "my next expected moment", or "my prior history" by
exclusive reference to the memory state defined within a given
It is curious at first to apply this heuristic to the UDA and similar
scenarios, though ultimately simplifying, in my view. Firstly we must put
aside any "fundamental" notion of past and future except as a logical
implication from the perspective of a momentary localisation within a
stochastic experiential multiplex. We must however continue to take
personal history seriously - and not only "our own" - because any other
attitude would be bad faith. From this perspective we see that John's
description of the objective situation after copying is perfectly
reasonable and true of the deterministic substrate, and indeed the class of
all sentient moments considered as a whole. It ceases, however, to make
any sense at all in the context of the present heuristic, in which
first-personal experience is explicitly recovered from a unique perspective
by the mutual replacement of singular givens. This heuristic provides a
view of the first-person as a singular stream of consciousness in which all
personal episodes emerge in due course, in due measure and in due relation.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at