[ExI] The Upload Game

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 09:33:39 UTC 2008

2008/4/27 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:

>  Wait.  What about your best friend?  Can you look at two
>  copies of him and say that they are the same person?
>  Recall that they act completely the same, and if named
>  "Fred", each resembles the other Fred even more closely
>  than he resembles the Fred of last week. (So therefore
>  if each really is the same person as Fred of last week, it's
>  obvious---to me, at any rate---that they are the same
>  person as each other. But too many people simply find
>  this conclusion unacceptable, despite the logic.)

This seems paradoxical if you assume that "personal identity" has to
be synonymous with a particular physical definition for identity, but
it is the physical definition that has to be adjusted in order to
capture the psychological intuition. Fred_1 could reason as follows:

"Fred_2 in the next room is more similar to me than Fred_(last week)
was. Clearly, I am the same person as Fred_(last week) but not the
same person as Fred_2, so the simplistic assumption that I am the same
person as someone who bears a certain minimal degree of similarity to
me must be wrong. A revised criterion is needed that gives an answer
in accord with intuition in such cases; for example, that I am the
same person as someone whose memories are a subset of my memories,
provided that this person is not extant at the same time as I am. This
tentative attempt at a definition may of course need to be revised
again in the light of new thought experiments."

Stathis Papaioannou

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