RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-14 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


I am not so sure that the standard model of personal identity with which we are familiar would be a universal standard. Imagine intelligent beings evolved from hive insects whichgo through several radically different life stages, frequently share genetic informationwith each other like bacteria, identify self and othersvia pheromones which can change or be transferred to other individuals... the possibilities are endless. These beings would have an utterly alien psychology, ethics, aesthetics, and probably also an utterly alien sense of what it means to be a person, including what it means to be the same person from one life stage to another.However, if they were intelligent, they would come up with the same scientific truths as us, even if they thought about them very differently, because such truths are in a fundamental sense observer-independent. 

Perhaps we have reached a consensus of sorts (Brent and Lee, let me know if you disagree): evolution has given us brains hardwired witha sense of continuity of personal identity over time for very good reasons, but it could have been otherwise, and it would not have been inconsistent with any logical or empirical fact about the world had it been otherwise. On the other hand, evolution has also given us brains which tend to believe that the Earth is flat and that there is an absolute up and down in the universe, also for fairly good reasons. However, in the latter case, the received belief *is* inconsistent with empirical facts about the world. This is a basic, and I think not immediately obvious, difference between beliefs about personal identity and logical or empirical facts.

Stathis Papaioannou



 Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 17:25:07 -0700 From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To: everything-list@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: A calculus of personal identity   StathisPapaioannouwrote: BrentMeekerwrites:   Iwouldsaythatwhatmakesastatementlike"we'rethesamepersonfrommomenttomoment"true isthatit'saninferencefrom,orapartof,amodeloftheworldthatis"true"inthe provisionalsenseofscientifictheories,i.e.itsubsumesandpredictsmanyemprically verifiedobservations(e.g.ifIwakeyouupinthemiddleofthenightandaskyouyourname you'llreply'Stathis')andithasnotmadeanyfalsifiedpredictions.Sointhissensewe couldsaythatourmodelofpersonhoodisbetterthanthatoftheday-people-notinthesense thatwecanshowtheirsisfalse,butinthesensethatourshasgreaterpredictivepowerand scope.   IfIwereaday-personandyouwokemeinthemiddleofthenight,Iwouldsaythattheperson whowenttobedlastnightwasStathis-1andthepersonnowawakeisStathis-2.Iwouldagree thatStathis-1andStathis-2arecomprisedofmostlythesamematterandhavesimilarmental attributes,butthefactremains,thebrainsofmyspecieshaveevolvedsothatwakingupfrom sleepmakesthembelievetheyareanewperson.Thisisn'tamodeloratheory;it'smorelike reportingthatI'mhungry,orfrightened.Philosophicalproblemsarisewhenthisfeelingof continuityofidentity(orlackofit)isequatedwithsomeempiricalfact.Ithappensthatin ourownevolutionphysicalandmentalcontinuityhasbeenstronglycorrelatedwiththesubjective feelingofcontinuityofidentity,anditistemptingtosaythatthereforephysicalandmental continuityisequivalenttoor(slightlyweaker)necessitatescontinuityofidentity.However, thisdefaultmodelthatweallusedaytodayisflawedontwocounts.Firstly,thecorrelation isnotnecessary,butcontingentonevolutionarycircumstances.Itiseasyenoughtoimagine rationalbeingsliketheday-peoplewhohaveacompletelydifferentapproachtopersonal identity.Secondly,thedefaultmodelisnoteveninternallyconsistent,asshowninduplication thoughtexperiments.IfIamtobeduplicatedtomorrowandoneofthecopiestortured,Iam worried;butwhentomorrowcomes,andIamnottortured,Iamrelieved.HowisitthatI"become" oneorothercopywhenmymentalcontinuitywithbothisthesame?Thereisnoambiguityinthe empiricalfacts,butthereisambiguityinhowIexperiencecontinuityofidentity-because thesearetwodifferentthingsandthereisnosimple,consistentrelationshipbetweenthem.  Well,thedefaultmodel,personalcontinuity,isconsistentabsentduplications...andthereain't anyyet.  Myexampleofwakingyouupandaskingyournamewasaweakone.IagreewithLeethatthetestof amodelisinthebehavoiritpredicts(andnotjustthevocalbehavoir).AndonthatbasisIthink themodelofpersonalcontinuitywouldbeabetterone,andyoumightevenconvinceaday-personof it;Justthereverseoftryingconvincepeopleherethatthereisn't*really*continuity.Ofcourse iftheydidn'tactasiftherewerepersonalcontinuity,theirphysicalcontinuitywouldlikelyend.  BrentMeeker  
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-14 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 I am not so sure that the standard model of personal identity with which we 
 are familiar would be a universal standard. Imagine
intelligent beings evolved from hive insects which go through several radically 
different life stages, frequently share genetic
information with each other like bacteria, identify self and others via 
pheromones which can change or be transferred to other
individuals... the possibilities are endless. These beings would have an 
utterly alien psychology, ethics, aesthetics, and probably
also an utterly alien sense of what it means to be a person, including what it 
means to be the same person from one life stage to
another.


Yes, I think that that is right.

 However, if they were intelligent, they would come up with the same 
 scientific truths as us, even if they thought about them very
differently, because such truths are in a fundamental sense 
observer-independent.


Right.

 Perhaps we have reached a consensus of sorts (Brent and Lee, let me know if 
 you disagree): evolution has given us brains hardwired
with a sense of continuity of personal identity over time for very good 
reasons, but it could have been otherwise,


Otherwise in the sense that if we were like insects (instead of mammals, or 
maybe just
large primate-like creatures), yes, we might not have this lingering notion 
that we
are the same people from day to day. And the sense that (I claim) young people 
have
that they will not be the same people when they are old.

 and it would not have been inconsistent with any logical or empirical fact 
 about the
 world had it been otherwise.

Yes, that seems so too: though no tribe of humans (or even lions, for that 
matter)
would ever develop the notion of day-persons (see Mike Perry's book, Forever 
For
All for his independent discussion of day-persons), that is indeed a contingent
fact of evolution.

 On the other hand, evolution has also given us brains which tend to believe 
 that the Earth is flat and that there is an absolute
up and down in the universe, also for fairly good reasons. However, in the 
latter case, the received belief *is* inconsistent with
empirical facts about the world.


Only inconsistent, of course, when data became available that was not available
in the EEA (Environment of Early Adapteness).

 This is a basic, and I think not immediately obvious, difference between 
 beliefs about personal identity and logical or empirical
facts.


I would agree.

Lee


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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 LeeCorbinwrote: StathiswritesandBrentevidentlyisnotonetoresistagoodpun   StathisPapaioannouwrote:  Indeed,Iwouldpersonallyfindtheideaofclonesofmyself thatIcouldrunintoquitedisturbing,andthemorelikeme theywere,theworseitwouldbe.  Asoberingreflection.;-)   Aninterestingpsychologicaldifference.About35yearsago,Iasked mylongsincedeceasedfatherwhatwouldbehisreactiontoaduplicate. Hewasveryquicktoassertthattheywouldnotgetalongatall.I havealwayswonderedatthat:whyexactlywouldsomeonenotlike himself?  (Ofcourse,thejokewouldbeonmeifIfoundoutthatallmyduplicates hadveryannoyingpersonalmannerisms,andthattheverysoundsoftheir squeekyhighpitchedvoicesirritatedthehelloutofme.)  IhavealwaysimaginedthatmyduplicatesandIwouldembracewitha lovetruerthanlong-lostbrothers.IfancythatIwouldlikemyself agreatdeal:-)  Lee  Iagree-I'dlikemyclone.IoncefoundsomeoldlabreportsandasIwasreadingthroughthemI foundonethatstruckmeasunusuallywellwrittenandinsightful-andthenIrealizeditwasoneI hadwritten.  Butwedon'tknowStathis.;-)
It's as well that this is just an online forum, because I think that if my clone could make me vanish, he probably would do it rather than face life sharing my possessions, my secrets, and so on. Would that be suicide or homicide?

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Lee Corbin writes:

 Brentwrites  Giventhatjustafterthecloning,thecloneswouldquicklydiverge,becomingdifferentpeople;it seemsyoucouldbehappycontemplatingthefuller,richerlifeofallthepeopleyouknowjustas muchasiftheywereclonesofyourself.  SoIsupposethatdaybydayyoubecomesomeonedifferent?  Ifyouweretogetanunexpectedcallduringthenexthour, wouldthatmakeyouadifferentpersonthanyouwouldhave becomewithoutthecall?  Lee  Sure-alittledifferent,evenifitwereexpected.  BrentMeeker
Brent's answer is obviously literally correct. In fact, between two copies of a person separated by even a moderate length of time, there may be *nothing* exactly preserved: different matter, different configuration of matter, different memories. It might look the same on the outside and feel the same on the inside, so by convention we say it is the "same" person. That convention/belief/feelingunderpins the normative usage of the words "person", "I" etc., and your preference is that we should keep to this usage so that we all know what we're talking about. That's fine, as long as it is understood that we are just talking about matters of convention, not matters of fact. We could imagine individuals of a species who consider that they are born anew person every day they wake up, regarding the memories and other mental attributes they inherit from their predecessor in much the same way as we regard the genetic and cultural inheritance we get from our parents. If this species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs of respiration, they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different person every day, and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they could hold this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about their biology.

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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-08 Thread Lee Corbin

Stathis writes

 If [a] species believed that 2+2=5, or that their kidneys were the organs of 
 respiration,
 they would be wrong. But if they believe that they wake up a different person 
 every day,
 and live their lives based on this belief, they would *not* be wrong; they 
 could hold
 this belief quite consistently even if they knew all there was to know about 
 their biology.

I claim that there is an important sense in which they *would* be wrong,
that is, nature endowed us with a strong prejudice that we are the same
creature from moment to moment for a reason. A creature exhibits a great
deal of fear if a threat arises not to it itself in the sense of the
creature this moment, but it in the extended sense. It acts consistently
to ensure that itself of a few moments hence does not come to harm, and we,
of course, understand quite well why nature did this.

Creatures who do not identify with themselves a few moments hence are
punished. They undergo pain or discomfort that is linked by their
intelligence to what the other creature (i.e. its self of a few moments
ago) actually did.  Again, in this way they become fearful of future
pain, and, on the other hand, eager to ravish future gain.


Suppose on the other hand that this is incorrect. Suppose that identity
does not extend in time past one Planck constant (whatever that is).
Then no object or person survives. But then the term survival is
also lost.

(Words don't have absolute meanings; only meanings that convey relative
utility and which correspond to actual structure in the world. An object
and even a person *does* persist in time as is revealed by a close
examination of structure. It simply isn't very different from moment
to moment, and if it is, then the entity has not survived. For example,
a rock that is crushed into dust no longer exists as a rock.)

Each person reading this would act in the following way if he suddenly
heard a loud animal roar behind him. If he then looked around a saw a
large tiger, all thoughts about the futility of survival past one
Planck constant would vanish. If the person takes a flying leap, and
just manages to get on the other side of a door, and is able to slam
it shut in the tiger's face, the person will rightfully be relieved.
Why shouldn't we say that the person has survived, at least for the
nonce until the tiger figures out that it may be able to burst through
the closed door?

Lee


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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Bruno Marchal writes:

 Itcouldbe,forexample,thatIhavebeenbrainwashedandmymemories ofthepastarepartlyorcompletelyfalsememories.   Thereisnofalse1-memories.Onlyanassociationbetweensome1-memory andsome3-realitycanbefalse.Ifsomeonesucceedsinimplementing correctly(morethanjustcoherently)falsebeliefs(likeIamNapoleon justafterWaterloo),thenIwillbelievecorrectlythatIamNapoleon andthatIhavejustloseabattle,almostbydefinition.Iwillhave togoinanasylum,sure,butmy 1-memoryofthepastiscorrectgiventhattheyhavebeencorrectly implemented.
This is just what I meant, though my terminology seems to differ from yours. As a result, I have a belief in a persisting 1st person through time, in this example the belief that I was and still am Napoleon. Now while I can't be wrong about having this memory/belief, I could be wrong in asserting that it reflects some 3rd person reality, such as that I am over 300 years old. In the same way, I think I am wrong in asserting that I believed I was Napoleon yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and so on, which is what a persisting 1st person through time is as commonly understood; it is true that I *believe* I believed that, but the best I could do to verifyit would be to examine my current memory or other evidence, such as my diary.And while my assertion that my present body is over 300 years old could be verified in principle by some medical test, my assertion that I have continuouslyexperienced the mental states of Napoleon during this time period runs up against the problem of other minds - even when the "other mind" is a past version of my own (putative) mind.

I'll respond to the rest of your post on the UDA at a later time, I need to read it more closely than I have time to do today...

--Stathis Papaioannou



 Iagreeifyoumeanby"future"and"past"3-futureand3-past.1- past  and1-futureisnotextrapolationthyarefeelingscontinuouslylived  inalastingpresent.IcannomoredoubtofmyfeelingofpastthanI  candoubtofaheadache(say).Eveniftimebyitselfdoesnotexistat   all(whichisthecasewithcomp).Theextrapolationwouldresideonly insomethirdpersonprojectionofthattime,space,...(Ithinkwe agree,theproblemcouldjustbetheterm"illusion").  I'mnotsureifyou'resayingwhatIwassayingaboveby distinguishingbetween1-future/pastand3-future/past.   Ithinkso.   Therelationshipbetweendifferentstagesinaperson'slife-how faraparttwodifferentexperiencescanbeandstillbelongtothe sameperson-iscomplicatedandnecessarilyvague.Ifweallowthat inprincipleanyonecanchangeintoanyoneelse,howcanyoupindown thisrelationshipwithanyrigour?   TounderstandtheconsequenceofUDA,Itrytonoputmorerigorthan needed.Eventuallythoserelationshipwillappearinmathematicalform withthelobianinterview.Self-referencethroughdiagonalizationwill dothework,butthisisneededtoextractphysicsfromnumbers,notto understandwehavetoextractphysicsfromnumbersonceweassumecomp.  suchasbelievingthemselvestobemomentsinthelifeofasingle individual,havingmemoriesorquasi-memoriesincommon,andsoon.  IfIsplitintotwothatpresentsnoproblemforthe3rdpersonPOV  (therearetwoinstantiationsofStathisextantwherebeforetherewa s one)norforthe1stpersonPOV(eachinstantiationknowsitis experiencingwhatitisexperiencingasitisexperiencingit).   OK. AproblemdoesarisewhenIanticipatethesplit(whichonewillI  become?)orlookbackatthesplit(*I*wastheoriginal!);thereis nocorrectanswerinthesecasesbecauseitisbasedon3rdperson  extrapolationofthe1stpersonPOV,whichinadditiontoitsother  failingsassumesonlyasingleentitycanbeextantatanyonetime (onlyasingle1stpersonexistsbydefinition,butmultiple3rd personscanexistattheonetime).   Thisisalittleweird.Yousaythereisnocorrectanswer,andthen yougivethecomp-correctanswer. ThefirstpersonisindeedjustNOTfirstperson-duplicable(unless  someaddedartificialtelepathictrick,butingeneralItalkonlyon theusualsimpleteleportationorduplication).  Thereisanunambiguous3rdpersondescriptiveanswer,butnosuch unambiguous1stpersonanswer.   Ithinkthereis,onceassumingcomp.Wecanstilltalkabout1stpersonexpectations,whichIagreeisthe importantthingforthesubject.   Yes,physicswillarisefromthat.  Thisisnottosaythatmymindcanorshouldovercome[LeeCorbin disagreesonthe"should"]thedeeplyingrainedbelieforillusion  thatIamaunique,one- trackindividuallivingmylifefromstartto finish,Hereyoureallytalkaboutthethirdpersonextrapolation,soIagree  withyou.Butthefirstpersonisnotdeceivebyitsfeelingofliving  uniquelyintimeandspace.Itcouldbedangeroustosayso,becauseit   leadsto(materialism)eliminativismwhicheventuallyconcludethatthe   wholefirstpersonthingisanillusion.Thisleadstoadeeplywrong  senseof"human"- irresponsibility.Well,itisanegationofthefirst person.Icanbesureitiswrong,asIbetyoucantoo.  Iwouldsaythatthe1stpersonexperienceis*not*anillusionin anysenseoftheword.   Allright.Itistheveryopposite,inaway:themostrealthing,whichcannot bedoubted.   Yes.   Butextrapolatingtootherpeopleorotherselvesinthepast,future, comingoutoftheteleporterorwhatever,thatisanothermatter.   

RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread John M


Stathis and Bruno:
I am still perlexed (aren't we all?) about the use of
the 1 vs 3. There is no 3rd person 'reality', only the
1st person memory of somebody else communicated to me
when it becomes acknowledged as MY 1st person
interpretation of it. 
I feel we rub too close to the solipsist quagmire of
its unprovable and undeniable lunacy. 

John M
--- Stathis Papaioannou
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Bruno Marchal writes:
  
   It could be, for example, that I have been
 brainwashed and my memoriesof the past are
 partly or completely false memories.   There
 is no false 1-memories. Only an association between
 some 1-memory   and some 3-reality can be false. If
 someone succeeds in implementing   correctly (more
 than just coherently) false beliefs (like I am
 Napoleon   just after Waterloo), then I will
 believe correctly that I am Napoleon   and that I
 have just lose a battle, almost by definition. I
 will have   to go in an asylum, sure, but my
 1-memory of the past is correct given that they have
 been correctly   implemented.
 This is just what I meant, though my terminology
 seems to differ from yours. As a result, I have a
 belief in a persisting 1st person through time, in
 this example the belief that I was and still am
 Napoleon. Now while I can't be wrong about having
 this memory/belief, I could be wrong in asserting
 that it reflects some 3rd person reality, such as
 that I am over 300 years old. In the same way, I
 think I am wrong in asserting that I believed I was
 Napoleon yesterday, and the day before, and the day
 before that, and so on, which is what a persisting
 1st person through time is as commonly understood;
 it is true that I *believe* I believed that, but the
 best I could do to verify it would be to examine my
 current memory or other evidence, such as my diary.
 And while my assertion that my present body is over
 300 years old could be verified in principle by some
 medical test, my assertion that I have continuously
 experienced the mental states of Napoleon during
 this time period runs up against the problem of
 other minds - even when the other mind is a past
 version of my own (putative) mind. 
  
 I'll respond to the rest of your post on the UDA at
 a later time, I need to read it more closely than I
 have time to do today...
  
 --Stathis Papaioannou
  
  
  
 I agree if you mean by future and past
 3-future and 3-past. 1-   past   and
 1-future is not extrapolation thy are feelings
 continuously lived   in a lasting present.
 I can no more doubt of my feeling of past than I  
 can doubt of a headache (say). Even if time
 by itself does not exist at  all
 (which is the case with comp). The extrapolation
 would reside onlyin some third person
 projection of that time, space, ... (I think we  
  agree, the problem could just be the term
 illusion).I'm not sure if you're saying
 what I was saying above bydistinguishing
 between 1-future/past and 3-future/past.   I
 think so. The relationship between different
 stages in a person's life - howfar apart two
 different experiences can be and still belong to the
same person - is complicated and necessarily
 vague. If we allow thatin principle anyone can
 change into anyone else, how can you pin down   
 this relationship with any rigour?To
 understand the consequence of UDA, I try to no put
 more rigor than   needed. Eventually those
 relationship will appear in mathematical form  
 with the lobian interview. Self-reference through
 diagonalization will   do the work, but this is
 needed to extract physics from numbers, not to  
 understand we have to extract physics from numbers
 once we assume comp.   such
 as believing themselves to be moments in the life of
 a single individual, having memories or
 quasi-memories in common, and so on.   If
 I split into two that presents no problem for the
 3rd person POV(there are two
 instantiations of Stathis extant where before there
 wa   s one) nor for the 1st person POV
 (each instantiation knows it is experiencing
 what it is experiencing as it is experiencing it).
   OK.  A
 problem does arise when I anticipate the split
 (which one will Ibecome?) or look back
 at the split (*I* was the original!); there is   
  no correct answer in these cases because it is
 based on 3rd personextrapolation of
 the 1st person POV, which in addition to its other 
   failings assumes only a single entity can
 be extant at any one time (only a single 1st
 person exists by definition, but multiple 3rd   
  persons can exist at the one time).  
 This is a little weird. You say there is no correct
 answer, and thenyou give the comp-correct
 answer.   The first person is indeed just NOT
 first person-duplicable (unless   some
 added artificial telepathic trick, but in general I
 talk only onthe usual simple teleportation or
 duplication).There 

RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-07-03 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Quentin Anciaux writes:
 HiJohn,  LeVendredi30Juin200621:06,JohnMaƩcrit: AninterestingobservationfromSaibalthatincreasing theinfo-inputtoone'sbrainkillsperson(ality?). Iwouldnotsay"dead",rather'changed'asintosome differentone.(Itisagradualchange,deathisbeing thoughtofassomethingmoreabruptand comprehensive.)  Formedeathmeanstoneverbeconsciousagain...never.That'swhydeathis meaninglessina1stpersonpointofview,becauseitisimpossibleby definitiontofeelbeingdead,becauseifyoucouldfeelbeingdead,itmeans you'renot(dead),ifyouwerebydefinitionyoucouldn'tfeel/experienceit.
OK, that's a reasonable working definition of death...
 So"theyou"at3yearsoldcouldnotbedead,becauseyourememberbeingit (inyour"bones").

You remember being 3, but it's probably nothing like being 3. It is possible that your brain has changed so much in the interim that even though you now remember being 3 "in your bones",almost no aspect of this memory is anything quite like the original experience. In fact, people might completely forget thingsthat happened to them in early childhood,or might "remember" things that didn't happen to them at all, or happened to someone else. Imagine what would happen if we did not have continuous conscious experience in the one body, if we could edit our memories at will, if we could download other peoples' memories or other mental attributes - including that bone-deep sense of identity, which whatever else it is must also besomehow physically imprinted in our brains.
 Inspiteofthat,knowingthatwhenasa5-yoIhad differentperson-alityandideas,brainfunctionand emotions,IstillfeelNOWidentitywithTHATPERSON.  Itotallyagreewiththis.AndIthinkspeaking(bisrepetita)of1stperson experience/continuousidentitythroughtimeasbeinganillusioncannot explainthefeelingofbeing"aself"everydaytill...?;)
Why not? If you were killed every night in your sleep and the next day a close copy reconstructed complete with memories (to the same extent as they are preserved "naturally" from day to day as our brain falls apart and is rebuilt by the neuronal nanomachinery), how would you know the difference? Unless you answer this question by saying that if your brain structure were preserved in the copying from day to day then continuity of identity is not an illusion, by definition... but then what if the copying after you are killed is delayed, or 1% more degradation than naturally occurs is allowed every cycle, or zero degradation is allowed but 1% false memories are added every cycle: would the strong feeling that you were the same person from day to day (which would still be present) then qualify as an illusion?

Stathis PapaioannouBe one of the first to try  Windows Live Mail.
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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity

2006-06-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes (quoting SP)

 Idon'tunderstandwhyyou[Bruno Marchal] say "ifduplication(atanylevel)isadeathsentence,thencompiswrong". Theremustbea*minimal*levelofduplicationfidelitybelowwhich consciousness/intelligenceisnotpreserved,no?Orareyouusing "duplication"tomeanperfectduplication,inwhichcasehowcanwehave differentlevelsofperfection?  I[f]weactuallytriedduplication,thenasinallcommunicationtechnologies,therewouldbeerrors andtheduplicationwouldnotbeperfect.Butthenthequestionarises,couldtheduplicatehave allthememoriesandpersonalityoftheoriginalbutstillnot"feel"thathewasthesameperson? Inotherwordshewouldbeaperfectduplicatefromthe3rdpersonviewpoint,exceptthathewould sayhewasnot.
If the duplicate did not feel he was the original, then he wouldn't have "all the memories and personality of the original", would he? We could qualify this: perhapsthe knowledge that he was a duplicate might make him wonder if he were the same person, and in an extreme situation might even drive him crazy. In that case, the appropriate experiment would be to tell neither the original nor the duplicate who was who, rather like having a placebo control in a drug trial. If there is still a significant difference between duplicate and original, the duplication process isn't accurate enough.

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RE: Re: A calculus of personal identity (was:*THE* PUZZLE)

2006-06-21 Thread Stathis Papaioannou


Brent Meeker writes:

 Iwonderifoursenseofidentiyismoredependentontheworldthanwesuppose.Irecallreading somewhere,inthe1960'swhensensorydeprivationexperimentswere"thenewthing",thatpeoplewho stayedinthesensorydeprivationtanksmorethananhourorsofoundthattheirthoughtssortof wentintoanendlessloopandtheythenlostallsenseoftimeandself.
Our sense of identity is entirely dependent on subjective experience, but our subjective experience is itself dependent on environmental factors. If we imagine the set of all possible subjective experiences, hallucinations and illusions are a subset of this set (technically, hallucinations are perceptions in the absence of a stimulus, while illusions are misperceptions), while solipsism could be seen as the view that all my subjective experience is a subset of the set of hallucinations.

Stathis PapaioannouWith MSN Spaces email straight to your blog. Upload jokes, photos and more. It's free! It's free!
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