Re: Are First Person prime?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 14:52:38 +0200

Le 10-août-06, à 19:35, David Nyman a écrit :

> Colin Hales wrote:
>> Perhaps the 3rd person is best called 'virtual'. It's role is one for
>> 'as-if' it existed.
> Yes, that's a reasonable suggestion. Then 3rd person might be reserved
> for the type of observation in George's examples. The 'shareable
> knowledge base' is then an aspect of 'personal virtual reality', and
> those elements held in common by a community of 1st persons (common
> frame of reference) constitute 'consensual virtual reality'.
> David
>> David Nyman:
>>> Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 11:20 AM
>>> To: Everything List
>>> Subject: Re: Are First Person prime?
>>> George Levy wrote:
>>>> Colin Hales remarks seem to agree with what I say. However, I do not
>>>> deny the existence of a third person perspective. I only say that
>>>> it is
>>>> secondary and an illusion brought about by having several observers
>>>> share the same frame of reference. This frame of reference consists
>>>> of
>>>> identical contingencies on their existence.

The notion of third person discussed here corresponds closely to what I
am used to call "first person plural" discourse, and they are evidences
that a non negligible part of the "quantum reality" belongs to that.
Grosso modo "first person discourse" are given by the diary content of
someone using teleportation, duplication etc, and "first person
plural" is the same in the case where entire population of individuals
are duplicated (like in Everett, in some sense). The main difference is
that the pure first person *singular* indeterminacy is not third person
communicable, at all. But inside duplicated populations, people can
have clues about a form of locally communicable indeterminacy (in
particular, they can make bets ...). But this is, strictly speaking,
still first person. This should "pleased" those who like give a central
role to the first person. The frontier between first person plural and
third person is hard to fix a priori. It is akin to the difference
between physics and geography. Pure third person "physics" is
necessary: nothing contingent in it, but I agree at some point this is
just a definition: I almost define geography by contingency, and
physics by necessary observable in principle.


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Received on Mon Aug 14 2006 - 08:54:43 PDT

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