[extropy-chat] The Anticipation Dilemma (Personal Identity Paradox)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 23:59:05 UTC 2007

On 4/12/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

No, I'm not saying that we ought to try to change ourselves to
> anticipate the past as well as the future---as we agree, that
> would be peculiarly at odds with the evolutionary purpose
> of anticipation.  I'm only lamenting that anticipation cannot
> be rationalized (at least I've not seen any way so far).  But
> big deal---we've learned that any number of concepts that
> we took for granted, e.g. "simultaneity", cannot be so
> consistently rationalized.
> > Either solution would allow a consistent theory of personal
> > identity, but it wouldn't feel right.
> Well, I didn't think that theories about personal identity were
> really at stake over the anticipation dilemma.  Now it *is*
> true, I contend, that most people get their views on personal
> identity by consulting their "anticipation" module. For example,
> they just don't "feel" that they'll themselves will have the future
> experiences of that frozen slab in the next room who is a recent
> duplicate.  All along, I've been attacking the veracity of this
> particular feeling, just as, for example, Columbus could be
> said to be attacking the "feeling" that the Earth must be flat.

Let's summarise. You feel that the sort of  anticipation which tells the
average human that he won't have the experiences of his copy in the next
room cannot be rationally justified and should be expunged. On the other
hand, you feel that the sort of anticipation which makes the average human
worry more about the future than the past cannot be rationally justified but
should be left alone. Is there an inconsistency here?

Stathis Papaioannou
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