Re: Are we simulated by some massive computer?

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 15:37:22 +0200

Ok Stathis, thanks for the precision.
Anyway you give me the temptation to identify the soul by the first person.
We will be able to prove (with the comp hyp) that not only the soul exists
but (I forget to say) also that from the *correct* soul point of view, the soul
is NOT a machine.
But perhaps the word "soul" is to charged with emotion, and perhaps
we should stick on the expression "first person".
'course, it is just a matter of vocabulary. (But then humans are able
to fight themselves during centuries for matter of vocabulary ... :(


At 22:23 30/04/04 +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

>On 29 April 2004 Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>At 23:16 28/04/04 +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>>There is a single idea underlying much of the confusion in discussions
>>>of personal identity: the belief in a soul.
>>>I use this term for a quality or substance which resides in a person
>>>throughout his life and is somehow responsible for his identity, and
>>>which (here is the problem) is not captured by a complete description of
>>>the person's physical and psychological state. Often, it is a hidden
>>That's a nice definition of the soul, quite similar to the provable
>>of the "first person", once we will define it precisely (in the Thaetetus
>>way). And comp will
>>entails, *as a theorem*, the existence of the soul, then!
>Actually, I didn't mean to use "soul" as a synonym for consciousness or
>subjective experience, which is why I said it was something not captured
>by a complete description of a person's physical *or psychological* state.
>Subjective experience differs from other empirical data in that it can
>only be fully understood in a first person context, but I do not see why
>this should disqaulify it from being a fit subject for scientific study.
>Cognitive psychologists write rigorous scientific papers of which they are
>very proud, and they seem to have replaced the behaviourists (who thought
>consciousness was at best unimportant and at worst non-existent) in most
>academic psychology departments.
>What I meant by "soul" was something beyond reason or empirical fact,
>whether of the first or the third person variety; something magical or
>supernatural, in other words.
>Stathis Papaioannou
>Find love today with ninemsn personals. Click here:
Received on Fri Apr 30 2004 - 10:07:24 PDT

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