Re: physics of uploading minds

From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 21:02:19 MST

Chris Capel wrote:

>On 11/1/05, Tennessee Leeuwenburg <> wrote:
>>The obvious response to this is that we store some memories even while
>>asleep, and that dreaming people who are woken report consciousness of
>>that dreaming. There is a continuity to our *minds* even if we suffer
>>from forgetfullness while asleep.
>>It seems just as valid to look at identity in terms of
>Woah, stop right here. You just stopped talking about consciousness
>and stepped over into identity. I really don't see that the two
>concepts are the same. Identity is about your memories, your thought
>processes. A sense of identity is not necessary for consciousness. I
>have many dreams in which I have no sense of identity at all. (I
>suppose you could argue that I'm not really conscious during those
>dreams, but I'm not going to help you out there.) Nor is subjective
>consciousness strictly necessary for an intelligence that,
>objectively, claims to have a sense of identity, if you allow that
>objective consciousness doesn't imply subjective consciousness. (I
>think it does imply that.)
I question whether you really can have a dream without a sense of
identity. Cogito ergo sum --- the mere evidence of your own experience
implies that there is a distinction between you and the world.

I don't share such dreams, perhaps you'd like to expand on what you mean

Identity is, I think, linked into consciousness in that way.

Obviously, lots of things have identity, and also there is a difference
between identity in the sense that we ascribe "identity" to a thing
across history.

The point was that the supposed gaps in consciousness identified during
sleep may not be gaps in consciousness, but in fact gaps in memory.

>>Identity, for me, can cope with the discontinuities of sleep and
>>personality change. It is a linguistic term, and people don't have
>>trouble understanding that a person can change drastically, yet still
>>refer to them by the same name. Identity has many forms, only some of
>>which are affected by discontinuity.
>Yeah, but I would think that those you're responding to would reply
>that while identity might be able to cope, consciousness wouldn't. (I
>don't have a problem with this view, because I think of consciousness
>as an almost empty concept.)
The point was that the supposed gaps in consciousness identified during
sleep may not be gaps in consciousness, but in fact gaps in memory.

If you accept that, then obviously identity is strictly related to
consciousness, for a consciousness has a unique history.

>>Perhaps it's better to say that human identity isn't damaged by
>>discontinuity. Perhaps the question is what kinds of discontinuity
>>constitute "harm" to the individual, and which do not?
>I'm not sure, but I don't think anyone *is* claiming this.
I thought, that in claiming that consciousness was interrupted nightly,
traditional concepts of identity were not strictly correct, because it
was wrong to use "the same" to describe a person's consciousness before
and after sleep.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:53 MDT