Re: Is a Person One or Many?

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sat Mar 08 2008 - 18:23:56 MST

On 09/03/2008, Lee Corbin <> wrote:

> > 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.
> What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for him to be
> you, that is, for the collection of molecules we find in your bed
> tomorrow to be you? And by that I mean exactly: under what
> transformations do you survive?

I survive under the transformations that people normally think of as
survival. But the point is that this depends on my psychology rather
than being something basic to physics. You can try to come up with an
objective criterion for survival, such as "all copies are selves", but
someone could argue that this criterion is not in keeping with their
intuitions, just as they could if you came up with an objective
criterion for "beauty".

Stathis Papaioannou

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