Re: momentary and persistent minds

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:04:57 -0700

On Thu, Jun 11, 1998 at 03:40:27AM +0000, Nick Bostrom wrote:
> > On Fri, May 29, 1998 at 04:03:00AM +0000, Nick Bostrom wrote:
> > > 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.".
> >
> > That is not going to give you nice results. For example if there is
> > no wavefunction collapse, all possible brain-states exist in the
> > future and "I will observe X" would have probability 1 for all X
> > under your interpretation.
> Do you think that the interpretation I mention works for non-quantum
> situations? (Instead of saying "...similar in certain respects...", I
> would now say "...standing in a certain relation R to...", since in
> some theories of personal identity R will involve more than
> similarity.)

The biggest problem I see with your interpretation is that it is based on
brain states, which seems to imply that two brain instances in the same
brain state must have the same identity. For example suppose at time 0
there are two observers in the same brain state and at time 1 one of them
sees a red light and the other sees a green light. According to your
interpretation both of them would conclude at time 0 that "I will see red"
and "I will see green" both have probability 1.
Received on Fri Jun 12 1998 - 17:13:05 PDT

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