Re: A calculus of personal identity

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 14:59:00 +0200

Le 30-juin-06, à 21:34, Brent Meeker a écrit :

>> John M:
>> Does this agreed double(?) statement not rub too close
>> on solipsism?
> Not if you accept that *all* our ideas of reality are models. The
> fact that they work well and are
> coherent makes me believe they are models of an external reality - not
> a personal illusion - but I
> can still doubt that they *are reality* itself. In other words I take
> them to be like scientific
> theories: provisionally accepted, but subject to refutation.

You are not answering John, I think, Brent. A scientist who send a
paper to a journal does not assume her aper will be read, he just hope
for. To bet on the other's first person experience is not of the kind
"scientific" and refutable.

> I have memories from when I was 5yrs old, but the source of identity I
> feel in those memories arises
> only from the fact that I remember a personal viewpoint in spactime
> and I remember emotions.

I agree.

> Those
> are the same aspects of memories of last week that make them coherent
> with my model of myself as a
> being who persists over time.

All right, but at the first person level, there is a point where you
*are* the model/theory/machine, like when you embed a map of Finland
into Finland: as far as you allow "continuous" transformation of the
map (remaining embedded in Finland) there will be a "fixed point": a
point of the map which is exactly and literaly on the corresponding
locality of Finland.
The diagonalization procedures can be used for finding the similar
fixed point of computable transformations.
Also: when you say "yes" to a "teleporting doctor", you assume the
artificial brain is not just a model of yourself, but that it
implements genuinely, albeit in a relative numerical way, you first
person pasts/futures.
Perhaps you are just putting comp into question, (not its consequences)
are you?
I just try to understand.


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Received on Sat Jul 01 2006 - 09:00:05 PDT

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