Re: [Fwd: NDPR David Shoemaker, Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction]

From: meekerdb <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:51:49 -0800

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 7:16 AM, Bruno Marchal <> wrote:

> On 24 Feb 2009, at 03:04, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> >
> > 2009/2/24 Brent Meeker <>:
> >
> >> I tend to agree with Quentin that memories are an essential
> >> component of
> >> personal identity. But that also raises a problem with ideas like
> >> "observer moments" and "continuity". Almost all my memories are not
> >> being remembered at an given time. Some I may not recall for years
> >> at a
> >> time. I may significant periods of time in which I am not
> >> consciously
> >> recalling any memories. So then how can memories and continuity be
> >> essential? I practice we rely on continuity of the body and then
> >> ask,
> >> "Does this body have (some) appropriate memories?"
> >
> > The continuity is contingent on having access to the relevant memories
> > as required. If you are listening to a recording the parts where the
> > music plays must be from that particular recording, but the silent
> > parts could as easily be from any other recording. In the same way, if
> > you are staring at a blank wall thinking of nothing for a moment, then
> > during that moment you might be a generic human having such a similar
> > experience.
> Exactly (assuming comp). That is even the reason why amnesia can led
> to fusion of first persons.
> And given that there is (or should be) a notion of first person
> plural, with duplication of collection of people, there must be in
> "nature" a similar fusion process, and quantum erasing phenomenon is
> the normal candidate.
> Bruno
> <>

It is the potential "fusion" that bothers me. It would seem to imply that
after Stathis and I have a simultaneous moment of thinking of nothing our
"closest continuations" might be mixtures, each having some memories
belonging to Stathis and some belonging to me. But this doesn't seem to
occur - which we easily explain in terms of the causal continuity of the


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Received on Tue Feb 24 2009 - 20:52:02 PST

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