RE: Mind/Body dualism What's the deal?

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2001 - 20:40:14 MDT

Loree Thomas writes

> Words are tricky here.. when somebody says "I'm not
> the person I was" we understand them to mean that they
> have changed in some significant way... but we don't
> understand them to mean that they are a new entity,
> separate and distinct from their previous self, like a
> child is from a parent.

yes, thank you for pointing that out to everyone, so
that miscommunication here is minimized.

> BTW, I'm not the man I once was. v?v

I take it that Loree Thomas was once a man. Now if that
isn't a transformation of body image, then I don't know
what is.

> Still... I am me.

This is what I would have expected.

> And that is my take on what will happen if and when we
> are able to move our minds from one physical body to
> another (whether that be biological, electromechanical,
> some combination of the two or something completely new
> that has no current analogue)... we will still perceive
> ourselves as "us".

I don't see how there is any doubt about this. Now let's
say that I'm uploaded, and just for convenience I am able
to specify my virtual reality. It then follows that
especially if I have a virtual reality that is very similar
to what I experience now, then I should expect absolutely
no difference to my "self". While it is true that in the
somatic marker hypothesis of Damiaso, some data concerning
our emotional state is allegedly stored in the body, it
seems more likely to me that Damiaso is mistaking what is
really stored in the brain's model of the body for what is
stored in the body. But even if that's wrong, it still
follows that just as I may store information on paper using
a pencil, a virtual reality will allow me to store emotions
in what I think is my body. A discussion of virtual reality
that I find very thorough is presented in David Deutsch's
"The Fabric of Reality", a book equally also about the many
worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and epistemology.

The case is even more strongly made that somehow there has
arisen in our culture of late a peculiar fascination with
body image.

> The real interesting part comes when and if we can
> make copies... multiple instantiations of a single
> individual.
> I lean towards the idea they will all equally be me...
> If there is a soul, it will have to be divided up
> between them, I guess.

There have been many long discussions on this list about
the problem of identity. I happen to agree with you,
and believe that a person can be in more than one place
at a time, just as he or she can be at different times
in the same place. Duplicates are self.


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