Re: Dualism and the DA

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 17:33:40 +0200

Le 17-juin-05, à 19:44, Jonathan Colvin a écrit :

> Bruno wrote:

>> Note that the question why am I me and not my brother is
>> strictly equivalent with why am I the one in Washington and
>> not the one in Moscow after a WM duplication. It is strictly
>> unanswerable. Even a God could not give an adequate
>> explanation (assuming c.).

> Ok, does that not imply that it is a meaningless question?

Not at all.

> If you want to
> insist that this question is meaningful, I don't see how this is
> possible
> without assuming a dualism of some sort (exactly which sort I'm trying
> to
> figure out).
> If the material universe is identical under situation (A) (I am copy
> #1 in
> washington) and (B) (I am copy#2 in washington), then in what way does
> it
> make sense to say that situation A OR situation B might have obtained?

Just ask the one in Washington. He will tell you that he feels really
be the one in washington. The experience from his personal point of
view *has* given a bit of information "he feels himself to be the one
in washington, and not in Moscow". At this stage he can have only an
intellectual (3-person) knowledge that its doppelganger has been
reconstituted in Moscow. And he remember "correctly by comp" his past
history in Brussels.
It is even simpler to reason by assuming, well not comp, but the fact
that the reasoner believes in comp, not as a philosopher, but as
someone practicing comp everyday. He believes that, as far as he is
consistent he will remain consistent (or alive with its correct
memories) after a teletransportation from Brussels to Mars. An
independant unknown reconstitution elsewhere will not change the fact
that he survives. So he believes he will survive a duplication, in the
same mundane sense that he would survive a medical operation. Only, he
can by introspection realize that the reconstitution will break the
3-symmetry of the duplication. By numerical identity and 3-symmetry he
knows he will no convey one bit of information to an external observer
(by saying I am the one in W), but he *knows* he is the one in w, like
the other konws he is the one in m. (unless he is transformed into a
zombie after the duplication, but by definition of comp that should not
happen). The "or" situation makes sense from the first person point of
views. Then, by introspective anticipation the one in brussels will
infer he is just maximally ignorant about where, in W or M he feel to
be after the experiment will be done.

> This seems to be the crux of the objection to any theory which reifies
> 1st
> person phenomena.

You are right, but only from the naturalist/physicalist/materialist
theoretical point of view. With comp I suspect (let us say) that it is
the crux of the objection to any theory which reifies the 3 person
phenomena (except a part of arithmetic).
The fact is that when I have a headache, or just when someone I care
off has a headache, I am not sure I find even just polite the
accusation of reification. If I am the one with the headache, I would
consider as a lie to myself to believe I am reifying the headache.
Contrarily if you tell me there are moon, galaxies, big bangs and
gluons, and when I ask you the evidences, you can give me only numbers
which represent relative but apparently stable relation with other
numbers. This I don't take as an evidence for moons and gluons, but
only as evidence that we probably share a long and non trivial comp
history. But with comp, the stability of that history is in need to be
explained, without reifying anything substancial, material or physical:
it *is* the 1-dragon problem.

Received on Sat Jun 18 2005 - 11:35:42 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:10 PST