Re: copy method important?

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 16:37:04 +1000

George Levy writes:

>Psychological copying is much less stringent than Physical copying. It
>requires that the person being copied feels the same as the original, "a la
>Turing test." This introduce the intriguing possibility of psychological
>indeterminacy which allows me to regard myself as the same person this
>evening as I was this morning, even though I am actually physically
>strictly different. Psychological indeterminacy support COMP and the
>associated experiments between Brussels, Washington and Moscow and is not
>restricted by the Quantum Non-Cloning Theorem. Psychological indeterminacy
>also raises the question of how different should I be until I become
>someone else. How big am "I"?

Yes, and the answer to the question "how different should I be until I
become someone else" is ultimately arbitrary. One neo-Lockean theory in the
philosophy of personal identity (I forget which philosopher this is due to,
perhaps someone could enlighten me) goes like this: there are three
individuals A, B, C at three sequential times t1, t2, t3 respectively. C has
no recollection of ever being A or anything about A's experiences; however,
B recalls something about being A, and C recalls something about being B.
Therefore, with this partial transfer of memories, we can say that A and C
were actually the same person. This allows us to maintain that a person with
failing memory remains the same person. However, it also allows us to say
that any arbitrary person X at time t1 was identical with any other
arbitrary and apparently unrelated person Y at a later time t2, provided
that suitable intermediates could be found between t1 and t2.

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Mon Jun 20 2005 - 02:56:09 PDT

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