[ExI] Continuity of experience

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 00:27:20 UTC 2010

On 27 February 2010 08:40, Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>:
>> If I tell you that sneezing destroys M what is your response? Your
>> response is that that's silly: you sneezed a few minutes ago and
>> you're still the same person, and your friend next to you also sneezed
>> (it was dusty environment) and you aren't in mourning for him either.
> Actually, no. My response is: I have no possible way to refute that
> statement. I am perfectly comfortable with absurdity*. It is certainly
> self-evident that people survive sneezing, but it is certainly not
> self-evident that M survives sneezing.

There is a vast number of possible statements like this, but we all
completely ignore them as meaningless (in the sense of the logical
positivists: though coherent, they are not analytically true nor
empirically true). Are we doing the wrong thing?

> So we could argue the metaphysics of sneezing for a while, if you
> want. It *would* be a whole lot sillier than talking about
> mind-scanning, if only because we've already sneezed at least once
> each, but it would likely run along a similar course.
> Any possible conclusion to either would, I suspect, be equally
> unverifiable. Some arguments carry more logical weight than others,
> though. Mind-scanning has more variables to grab hold of, what with
> all the different ways of copying and potentially recombining, so it's
> more subject to analysis; whether or not such analysis is futile.

There are a lot of differences between mind scanning and sneezing, but
since nothing we could learn about the world makes any difference to
what we can know about M, none of these differences are relevant in
the discussion.

Stathis Papaioannou

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