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

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 20:46:50 +1100

2009/2/25 meekerdb <>:

> 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
> brain.

I don't see why periods of shared consciousness should result in
fusion. Suppose S and B experience 3 consecutive minutes of
consciousness, S1-S2-S3 and B1-B2-B3. The first and third minutes are
distinct, but the second minute consists of staring at a blank wall
with only minimal self-awareness and has identical subjective content
in each case. What this means is that S2 and B2 are interchangeable,
and when S3 or B3 is recalling the previous minute, it doesn't make
sense to sense to say he definitely experienced S2 or B2 respectively.
In other words, it would make no difference to the stream of
consciousness of either S or B if one or other of S2 or B2 did not
occur. And yet, even though S2 and B2 could be one and the same, there
is no fusion of of consciousness, since B1, B3, S1 and S3 are all

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Wed Feb 25 2009 - 04:46:55 PST

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