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

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 12:29:10 +0100

Le 05-mars-09, à 11:15, Günther Greindl a écrit :

> Hi Stathis,
>>> It is at least conceivable that the collection of particles that is
>>> me
>>> could undergo some environmental interaction such that *all* the
>>> following entangled branches decohere into states that do *not* map
>>> to
>>> the emergent class of "me, being conscious." Then I would be dead.
>> It seems possible, but in that case the QTI would be wrong. Also, it
>> isn't clear that the MWI says that everything that can happen, does
>> happen, even though that is how it is sometimes characterised.
> Indeed, that is what Jonathan (I guess) and I (definitely) have been
> arguing.

We agree. The MWI does forbid world in which 1 = 0. Many things remains
impossible in the MWI.

> In fact, I am quite sure that MWI in it's current form implies that not
> everything (a priori physically plausible) happens - interference of
> histories is (I think) showing us that.

Sure. But note that "a lot of things happens", including the white
rabbits and aberrant histories. Quantum intefrence and decoherence
explains why those aberrant histories are relatively rare.

> With COMP it is not so clear.

Something subtle happens with comp. The "scientist" cannot prevent the
apparition of cul-de-sac everywhere, but this is the reason that he has
to abandon science for theology once he decide to compute
probabilities. he will does that by defining the probability by an
explicit appeal to self-consistency (= the move from Bp to Bp & Dt; the
"Dt" suppresses the cul-de-sac). With comp, to believe in a next
instant or in a successor state is already based on an act of faith.
But this makes a strong restriction of what is possible, and harder to
eliminate the white rabbits. Cf, with comp we have to derive QM. We
just cannot assume it.


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Received on Thu Mar 05 2009 - 06:29:31 PST

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