Re: IDENTITY- What it means to be 'me'

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 09:49:03 MST

>> Me:
> >Swap A and B and then see if there is any detectable change in the system.
> >That's why I can say with confidence that the message you wrote on your
> >computer is the same one I'm reading now. And that's why an exact copy of
> >me is me.

Damien Broderick <> Wrote:

> If A and B were not messages but *persons*, they'd squeal when swapped.

No they would not because they wouldn't even know. You and your exact copy are
standing an equal distance from the center of a symmetrical room. I now claim to
have instantly swapped the location of you and the copy. There is no way an
outside observer can detect any objective change, there is no way you can detect
any subjective change, and there is no way for you to prove that my claim to have
made the swap is untrue. So we have something that has no objective effect,
no subjective effect, and there is no way to disprove the thing. I conclude that this
is not a scientific question. If you're still right then you're talking about a soul.
I don't find souls useful.

   John K Clark

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:23 MDT