On 30 Oct 2012, at 19:58, meekerdb wrote:
If there were no humans, no human level consciousness, would it still be true that Holmes assistant is Watson?

If there are no humans, Conan Doyle would not have created the Holmes and Watson characters, to which the use of the names refer, and the question would be meaningless.

But in our branch of reality, it is true that Holmes assistant is Watson (and not Crick, for example).

I a quiz, you would lose the point if you answer "Crick" to the question "what's the name of Holmes assistant?".

Holmes and Watson are sufficiently famous that we get the point such names denote characters of some of the novels written by Doyle.

Even if the earth is destroyed, and no humans survive, it will remain true that Watson was the assistant of Holmes, (in Conan Doyle's fiction) even if nobody care. Some alien might rediscovered that fact when studying the humanity debris with some efficient tools.



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