Re: Dualism and the DA

From: Pete Carlton <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 10:18:52 -0700

On Jun 17, 2005, at 10:17 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
> <snip>
> I still find it hard to understand this argument. The question "What
> is it like to be a bat?" still has meaning, but is probably
> unanswerable (although Dennett, I notice considers it answerable,
> contra Nagel!)

Dennett considers it answerable, but he thinks the answer is probably
"Nothing at all".
That is, it isn't "like" anything at all to be a bat, because bats
can do all the tasks they need to do to get by without it being
"like" anything at all for them.

I still think the confusion over personal identity is due to the
misplaced importance we're putting on the concept of "I".

Here's what Bruno said later:
> "Note that here we can understand why the question "why I am the
> one in W" or "why I am the one in M" are 100% meaningless. This
> does not entail that the question where will I be in the next
> duplication is meaningless."

I think the second question, "where will I be in the next
duplication", is also meaningless. I think that if you know all the
3rd-person facts before you step into the duplicator - that there
will be two doubles made of you in two different places, and both
doubles wil be psychologically identical at the time of their
creation such that each will say they are you - then you know
everything there is to know. There is no further question of "which
one will >I< be"? This is simply a situation which pushes the folk
concept of "I" past its breaking point; we don't need to posit any
kind of dualism to paper over it, we just have to revise our concept
of "I".
Received on Mon Jun 20 2005 - 13:20:27 PDT

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