Re: personal identity

Harvey Newstrom (
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 15:45:46 -0500

At 9:05pm -0500 1/9/98, Wei Dai wrote:
>On Fri, Jan 09, 1998 at 02:02:14PM -0500, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
>> Agreed. This is a better explanation of what I feel. The book might be
>> me, but I could not experience life in my new incarnation, or grow and
>> change. The definition of "me" has to be more than my current state, it
>> must include continuing experience and future potential.
>Ok, but how much future potential do you need? A day of subject time? An
>hour? A second? Does it mean that sometime before your actual
>(irreversible) death, you're no longer you?

Personally, I want guaranteed unlimited time. Since that is not likely to
happen, I will settle for indeterminate time. As long as I am aware and
continuing to experience, I am happy. If I see that my time is about to
end and that I will cease to function at some future time, I will do
everything in my power to avoid that specific event.

The book cannot experience life. It cannot try to avoid a future event.
It has no sensory input. It doesn't move, change, reproduce, respond, make
decisions, possess intelligence, process input, or have any attribute that
I would consider alive.

Harvey Newstrom <mailto:>
PGP 5.5 Fingerprint F746 7A20 EB7D 27BA 80A5  4473 D8E1 6A54 1EB0 56F7
PGP Public Key from <> or