Re: momentary and persistent minds

From: Nick Bostrom <>
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 04:03:00 +0000

Wei Dai <> wrote:

> I found an especially interesting paragraph in David Albert and Barry
> Loewer's paper on their many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
> The paper is "Interpreting the Many Worlds Interpretation" in Synthese 77
> (1988) 195-213.

I'll look that up

> So perhaps we should take the "momentary minds" view more seriously. The
> fact that we can't make sense of the probability of "I will observe X" on
> this view should not count against it because we can't assign these
> probabilities in any case.

It seems we can interpret "I will observe X" as meaning: "There is a
future brain-state B2, similar in certain respects to the brain-state
B1 which instanciates this present cognition C1, such that B2
instanciates C2, and C2 includes an observation of X.".

For "similar in certain respects" you can insert your favourite
theory of personal identity.

Nicholas Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Received on Thu May 28 1998 - 20:16:36 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST