[ExI] Midazolam, Memory Erasure, and Identity

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Jul 16 11:32:14 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> Lee wrote:
>> I think that you are resorting to deconstructing entirely what is meant
>> by "person".  So can you tell me just what it is that you hope survives
>> from month to month?
> I hope that some entity entity exists next month which considers
> itself to be the continuation of me in much the same way as I consider
> myself to be the continuation of last month's version of me.
> If that happens, then I would say that I have survived as a person.

I will try to criticize that based upon a literal reading. Please forgive
me if theapproach really isn't warranted here.

It sounds as though that is a *sufficient* condition for your survival.
One weakness clearly is that the opinion of the resulting creature
is paramount. For example, whether you survive sounds as though
it depends on whether or not the creature changes its mind about
the nature of identity. 

Let A = you today, A' = you tomorrow, etc., and a copy of you
is made on day three so that there exist A, A', A'', A'''..., B'', B'''...
Under normal circumstances, and by your definition above, they
all consider themselves to be a continuation of you. But if A'''''''
for instance attends some heavy duty philosophy courses some
where, or loses a key argument on some email list, then you no
longer survive in the A-development.  Seems suspect to me.

Because:  later on, A'''''''''''''''''''' may change his mind again and
so now again you have to survived.  Or he may begin changing
his mind every few hours. 

Surely it's simpler to go with the common view, and suppose
that all the A's and all the B's are "you" in the sense that you
survive if any of them do, no matter what strange ideas they
may begin to entertain (provided they don't go crazy, etc., 
i.e., that they don't cease in an objective fashion to resemble


> If the entity next month is physically or even psychologically
> similar to me without fulfilling that criterion, then even though
> by some definition it might qualify as being the "same person",
> I will not consider that I have survived.

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