Personal Identity

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 09:15:13 MST

Adrian Tymes wrote

> Using current resources to run more copies is likely to,
> instead, be overridden by using current resources to
> enhance current copy, at least for the entity typing
> these words or any near-term version thereof. This
> may be considered sociopathic relative to the copies
> that would otherwise have been created, but that's
> what exists here at the moment...

That's very understandable!

> Slightly different take: duplicates *were*
> self at the moment of branching, ...

That's the common-sense view. As you imagine that you
are a duplicate right now, it seems natural that "you"
just can't be all those other identical copies. But
this common-sense view is mistaken, because we simply
are not accustomed to having identical or near-identical
extant copies. In other animal kingdoms, they have
adapted, and their behavior reflects it.

I know, it still feels "logical" to regard the others
(separated in space) as distinct, yet regard your past
selves (separated in time) as "me". But, obviously, it
isn't logical, especially when your past and future
selves are not as similar to you as present duplicates
elsewhere are.

Please see my 1988 essay on this, "Duplicates are Self:
A Proof" at

Thanks, Lee Corbin

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