[extropy-chat] Probability of identity - solution?

Robin Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Sun Oct 15 23:46:42 UTC 2006

At 09:54 AM 10/14/2006, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> > >if you choose to define your reference class by causal logic, then
> > >you get the causal logic conclusion. If you choose to define your
> > >reference class by measure accounting, then you get the measure
> > >accounting conclusion. ... So decide what you care
> > >about, and aim for that.
> >
> > beliefs are supposed to be your best estimate of
> > the way the world is.   When you ask "what is the chance that ..."
> > you are asking about probabilities and beliefs, so the answer simply
> > cannot depend on some value choice you make.
>### But value choices may change your definitions of terms: You can
>formulate a number of similar but distinct definitions of "self", all
>largely consistent with the quotidian usage, yet leading to widely
>divergent numerical estimates in imagined situations far removed from
>our daily experience.

Yes, agreed.   What questions we may choose to ask about the world
may certainly depend on our values.  But for any one question well-posed
in terms of what someone will see, or how things will be arranged, the
probabilities should not depend on values.

If we ask about creatures who remember being in this situation many times,
we should be able to ask about the typical frequencies they should
remember having seen.

Robin Hanson  rhanson at gmu.edu  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326  FAX: 703-993-2323 

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