Re: Is a Person One or Many?

From: Vladimir Nesov (
Date: Tue Mar 18 2008 - 16:35:35 MDT

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:52 AM, Jeff L Jones <> wrote:
> I don't know what you mean by "bodies of copies". I agree that you
> can analyze the situation without thinking about bets or property, and
> that this just makes it more complicated. The reason I wrote it all
> out in detail, however, is because I think that is what is leading you
> to think that "there is a 50% chance that the coin will come up heads"
> independent of who observes it. You're thinking of what a non-copied
> observer would see, and failing to consider what the copied observers
> see... which is the whole point of the question.

They see the same thing. What is the query that fails to be answered
by this model?

There is nothing special about first-person perspective: the only
thing that is different from me observing another person and that
person observing himself is the position of sensors. We all observe
ourselves from a third-person perspective. Our thoughts are
observations that parts of our brains make from other parts of our
brains, they are seen from a third-person perspective inside
ourselves. Feelings and drives are important concepts because they
describe what's going on in our minds, they explain modes of thought.
But they did not evolve to handle the reasoning of a creature that
gets copied all of a sudden, with preservation of all its memories, so
there is no reason to postulate a new ad-hoc feeling of anticipation
that is supposed to help in this task.

Vladimir Nesov

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT