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

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 19:05:38 +0100

On 16 Mar 2009, at 13:31, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

> Hi Bruno,
> 2009/3/15 Bruno Marchal <>
> Hi GŁnther,
> >
> > Hi Bruno,
> >
> > thanks for your interesting answer, I have some questions though.
> >
> >> course, as I said, this will depend of what you mean by "you". In
> >> case
> >> you accept the idea of surviving with amnesia, you can even get
> to a
> >> state where you "know" you are immortal, because your immortality
> >> is a
> >> "past event".
> >
> >
> > I would equate total amnesia with death (we've been through this
> > before,
> > Stathis has written about this, if I remember correctly).
> I remember Quentin identifying himself with his memory, and very
> logically, identifying total amnesia with death.
> It is a complex matter. Total amnesia concern only some form of
> declarative knowledge, you cannot loss your "procedural memory",
> because it is part of ... arithmetic, and common to all elementary
> knowers.
> Well I agree that in total amnesia thought experiment... well the
> amnesia is not total... the subject still knows his former language
> and other knowledge... except all knowledges/memories about *who* he
> was is lost. And in this sense IF in one minute I lose these
> memories about my current ME, then my current ME is dead for all
> practical purpose. And IF mwi and/or comp is true then there must
> exists a moment which is a successor of current ME without the
> current ME memories being lost... so I should end up in this state
> and not in the state where my identity was erased because like I
> can't be where I'm dead... I can't be where I'm not. The 'I' which
> is referred is the one with memories, the one without cannot
> meaningfully say he is a successor of me now, except if he sees like
> in real world "total" amnesia case that his body was mine and
> causally connected to mine. But in comp sense this is not
> meaningful... If my mind can be copied and transferred in a "metal"
> body, this metal body is not causally connected to my biological
> body... but that mind is a continuation of current me.
> So in this sense, if you say that it is possible that all successor
> moment to a moment could lead to a "total" amnesia, then QI is
> false... or tautologically true because it means you are everyone
> (ie: no one). But for all practical purpose current ME would be dead.

I ask you, and others, this question. What is the probability "now",
that you will find yourself in Washington and Moscow the 24 december
2009, when you are annihilated in Brussels, now, (17 March 2009) and
reconstituted in both Moscow and Washington the 18 March 2009, say)?
The problem is that the reconstitution machine did dysfunction in
Washington, so that, from the 18 March 2009 up to the 20 Augustus 2009
you (the you in Washington) suffered a "total amnesia". And then,
"you" recovered slowly and progressively from that through adequate
medication up to a total recall, the 23 December (and none of yous did
move from W or M).

Note that with high concentrated extract of Salvia Divinorum, people
can "suffer" (or "enjoy") a total amnesia, where you forget not just
your name and memories of life, but you forget even what is a person,
what is space, what is time. Yet you remain conscious. Life appears
as a dream, that you recall vaguely, and then forget, and then you
forget you did that dream. Yet "you" come back. (See the reports, I
don't encourage its consumption, but anyone interested by
consciousness can be interested by such reports).

> I'll continue to read the rest of the mail.




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Received on Tue Mar 17 2009 - 14:05:46 PDT

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