Re: on formally describable universes and measures (fwd)

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 00:11:52 -0700

On 09-Feb-01, Jesse Mazer wrote:
> So, if continuity of consciousness is "real" it is reasonable to
> expect that our theory of consciousness should allow for the
> possibility of splitting, and that from a first-person point of view,
> I-before-the-split would have an X% chance of becoming one copy and a
> Y% chance of becoming another. That is not to deny, though, that the
> split would happen both ways at once--in other words, each copy would
> be correct in saying it was continuous with the single consciousness
> before the split.

This seems to me to be a meaningless question. What possible experiment
could decide whether "I" had become the I-in-Washington and not the
I-in-Moscow. The very hypothesis of the thought experiment makes this
question unaswerable. Of course if we actually did the experiment and
I-in-Washington says "No I'm not the one who was in Brussels." and the
I-in-Moscow says, "Yes, I'm the one who was in Brussels." or they
thought thusly to themselves then we might have an interesting
question. But Bruno postulates in the beginning that they must both
say (unless lying), "I was the one in Brussels." If you scatter a
photon off an excited atom you can get two identical photons - but
there is no answer to the question which was the original and which was
emitted by the atom.

Brent Meeker
Received on Sat Feb 10 2001 - 00:15:50 PST

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