John Clark (
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 12:51:47 -0500

Hash: SHA1

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky Wrote:

>How would you define "identity"?

I think we'd need to start with the word "identical". It two things can be exchanged and no change can be detected by the outside world then the two things are identical. An unproved and unprovable but nevertheless reasonable corollary is that it doesn't matter internally either.

If everything you know I know, and everything I see feel and hear you see and feel and hear then our brains (or consciousness) could be exchanged and the external would could not tell the difference in our behavior, and neither could the Clark/Yudkowsky composite being. We would share the same identity.

There is no reason to think this is an all or nothing concept. If the John Clark of 5 minutes ago were exchanged with the John Clark of right now the world would see almost no difference so we're almost the same person, but the very act of writing this post has changed me a little.

John K Clark

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