[ExI] The Anticipation Dilemma (Personal Identity Paradox)

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Jul 15 17:52:39 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> On 15/07/07, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
>> Evolution made a rough approximation:  don't identify with
>> anything outside your skin in the sense of anticipating actually
>> feeling their pain.  The patternist view of identity suggests
>> that this "bio-unit is all important" bias should be replaced
>> with a "this pattern is all important".  But the present day
>> feelings of anticipation cannot, so far as I know, be consistently
>> worked into providing guidance between choice A and choice
>> B in these unusal cases (as you say).  You are probably right
>> about there being no perfect heuristic;  but anticipation is *so*
>> overwhelmingly powerful as a guide to action that it poses a
>> real problem.
> If you can discard this strong feeling of anticipation as a motivator,
> what's to stop you also discarding the desire to survive at all?

Hmm, sorry if I implied somewhere that I'd remove anticipation
as a motivator if I could (e.g. after uploading). Heavens, no.

It's just that in some very specially new and contrived---well,
new, special, and contrived in 2007, not in 2107---situations,
anticipation suggests an *incorrect* choice between A and B.
That is, you really are better of by choosing to have your
instance perish so that your duplicate gets rich.  Or, as an
alternative, you are better off today if at 3pm last night a copy
was made, and at 4pm the original you was disintegrated,
and at 5pm your duplicate was substituted for the original
instance, and voila!  you awake to discover you're rich.


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