Re: Are First Person prime?

From: 1Z <>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 10:37:45 -0000

Brent Meeker wrote:
> 1Z wrote:
> >
> > Bruno Marchal wrote:
> >
> >>Le 09-août-06, à 12:46, 1Z a écrit :
> >>
> >>
> >>>Timeless universe, universes where everything that can exist
> >>>does exist, are not well founded empirically.
> >>
> >>So we should understand that you would criticize any notion, sometimes
> >>brought by physicists, of "block-universe".
> >
> >
> >
> > Yes, I certainly would! It is unable to explain the subjective
> > passage of time. Dismissing the subjective sensation of the passge of
> > time
> > as "merely subjective" or "illusional" is a surreptitious
> > appeal to dualism and therefore un-physicalistic!
> I don't see that problem. In the block universe each subject is modelled as
> having different states at different times and hence subjectively
> experiences the passage of time.

That doesn't follow.

Time Capsules: Getting Flow from Sequence.
Proponents of the Block Universe view believe that there is only a
B-Series. Some think that alone is adequate to explain the subjective
Flow-of-Time. It is easy enough to see how there could be a sequence in
the B series. If we consider a series of 3 dimensional "snapshots" of
someone's brain, each subsequent snapshot iwll contain information
relating back to previous ones.

But is this chain or sequence enough to establish flow ? A B-series
without an A-series is like a spatial series. If you had a series of
clones arranged spatially so that clone 2 has all of clone 1's memories
(and more), clone 3 has all of clone 2's memories (and more) and so on,
you would not expect anything to be flowing from one clone to another.
The clones form a series of "time capsules", and a such they have a
natural sequence, but that is all.
Without an A series, there is nothing to justify the idea that only one
time capsule is conscious "at a time". Either they all are, or none
are. We know we are conscious, so we must reject the "none are" option.
The Block Universe therefore predicts that all time capsules are
conscious. This is in line with the way the Block Universe spatialises
Time. It predicts that consciousness is a single 4-dimensional entity.
I would not just be conscious now with memories of the past, I would
have a consciousness in the past overlaid on my present consciousness.

The objection that being arrayed along the 4th dimension would split
consciousness up is week; we don't have a micro-conscousness associated
with each neuron, despite their spatial separation. Why should temporal
separation have ant atomising, fragmenting effect --wehn B-series time
is so similar to space anyway ?

> Brent Meeker

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Received on Fri Aug 11 2006 - 06:39:51 PDT

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