Re: Is a Person One or Many? (was Separate Copies...)

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sat Mar 08 2008 - 05:45:08 MST

On 08/03/2008, Lee Corbin <> wrote:

> > So-called paradoxes of personal identity are due to the fact that
> > thought experiments such as these screw with our psychology.
> > Physics and logic remain unaffected.
> I agree with that---but these thought experiments also revolve around
> the concept of what a person is, the nature of anticipation, and, (as
> you imply) mistakes we make due to looking at some things subjectively
> which can perfectly well be approached objectively.

It is an objective fact that tomorrow someone will wake up in my bed
who thinks he is me, but it is *not* an objective fact that this
person is, indeed, me. If I travelled forward in time and encountered
him we would both agree on the facts - we look similar, we have
similar memories - but still disagree that we are the "same" person,
and possibly fight over control of resources. You might claim that all
copies are selves, but someone else could come along and say, no,
copies are not selves, with no fear that evidence will be raised to
contradict him; whereas if he claimed that copies did not look similar
or share similar memories, he would be wrong.

Stathis Papaioannou

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