duplicatability or copying is problematic

From: Stephen Paul King <stephenk1.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 13:25:46 -0400

Dear Bruno,

    Does your thesis survive without the notion of duplicatability or copying? As I have pointed out, QM does not allow duplication and I am hard pressed to understand how duplication can be carried out in classical physics.
    If we merely consider the Platonia of mathematics we find only a single example of each and every number. If we assume digital substitutability there would be one and only one number for each and every physical object. Where does duplication obtain in Platonia? If duplicatability is an impossible notion, does your thesis survive?


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Bruno Marchal
  To: Jeanne Houston ; Giu1i0 Pri5c0 ; everything-list.domain.name.hidden ; fabric-of-reality.domain.name.hidden
  Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 12:08 PM
  Subject: Re: Shadows and smeared selves

  At 14:43 12/06/04 -0400, Jeanne Houston wrote:

    I am a quantum physics enthusiast, but merely an amateur who finds the
    discussion threads of this group to be quite interesting. I have never
    before commented because, to be honest, I am rather lost in regard to the
    discussion of first person and third person.

  I have not the time to explain the use I have made of the 1/3 person
  distinction in the approach I develop to tackle the mind body problem.
  It occurs with the comp hypothesis in the cognitive sciences,
  that is the thesis that we are
  machine (roughly speaking). Then we are, like amoeba, duplicable.
  We can imagine being "cut" at some place and "pasted" in some other place.
  But then we can duplicated and pasted in two place at once. It is there
  that the 1 person views are qualitatively different from the 3 person views.
  Let me quote
  myself from http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/publications/CC&Q.pdf
  (Note that comp entails a form of comp-suicide, and quantum-suicide
  could be a particular of it).

  <<The first person discourse is defined by the result of experience/experiment
  which are written
  in a diary which belongs to the experimenter. It is important that he keeps
  his diary with him during the self-duplication experiment so that the diary
  is duplicated too in the experiment.
  The third person discourse is the discourse made by an external observer.
  Suppose a candidate goes through a
  self-duplication experiment, and that he believes in computationalism. He
  is scanned and annihilated at Brussels and reconstituted at both Washington
  and Moscow. Let us ask him the following question: where will you
  be after the experiment is done. He can answer: I will be in Washington
  and Moscow. Right, with that question, he can indeed use a third person
  discourse about himself. Let us ask him more cautiously the following question:
  where will you feel yourself, i.e. from your first person subjective point
  of view, after the experiment? More precisely: what will you note in your
  diary after the experiment is completed? In that case, if we assume both
  the computationalist hypothesis and if we assume that the experimenter has
  some minimal introspection abilities it is easy to understand he must answer
  'I will feel myself in Washington or Moscow'. The fact is that he will not
  write in his diary something like 'I feel myself being both in Washington and
  Moscow'. In particular he will have a personal knowledge of Moscow (resp.
  Washington) and only an intellectual, 3-person knowledge, of the existence
  of his doppelganger in Washington (resp. Moscow). And he can predict that
  very fact-that he will feel himself at one place-although he is unable to
  predict which one, and this shows that computationalism entails a strong
  first person indeterminacy, and this happens in the context of a strong third
  person determinism.>>

  Hoping that helps. That distinction is akin to the distinction between subjective and
  objective in Everett's "relative state/many-world" papers. I will probably say a little
  more in my discussion with George asap (on the everything-list).


Received on Tue Jun 15 2004 - 03:31:35 PDT

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