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To Beam or not to Beam? A study in personal identity.

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Presentation on theme: "To Beam or not to Beam? A study in personal identity."— Presentation transcript:

1 To Beam or not to Beam? A study in personal identity

2 Beaming:

3

4

5 Ways of Conceptualizing Beaming: Same Matter, “Matter Transport” “Recruited” Matter, “Information Transport”

6 Ways of Conceptualizing Beaming: Delay Instantaneous

7 Questions: Which forms of transport is it rational to assume that you will survive? 1.Instantaneous Matter Transport 2.Delayed Matter Transport 3.Instantaneous Information Transport 4.Delayed Information Transport

8

9 The Closest Continuer Schema Proposed by Robert Nozick ( ) Identity is a relation that moves from one time-slice of an object to another time-slice of an object based on overall similarity.

10 (easy) Closest Continuer Example: T1 T2 Closest to T1 Not Even Close

11 Closest Continuer Rules: 1)Objects at T2 are compared only to other objects at T2 to determine which is the closest continuer to the object at T1

12 Closest Continuer Rules: 2)“Closest” must be clear. The Closest Continuer must be closer than any other claimant

13 Closest: T1 T2 No CLOSEST Continuer

14 Closest Continuer Rules 3)The Closest Continuer must be close enough (share enough qualitative similarity).

15 Continuer: T1 T2 No Continuer

16 Do you survive transport? T1 T2 What makes the person-slice at T2 the closest continuer of the person-slice at T1?

17 Theories: 1.Matter Matters a)Body Matters (body includes brain) b)Brain Matters

18 Theories: 1.Matter Matters a)Body Matters (body includes brain) b)Brain Matters - If one of these is your view, then you would survive only instantaneous matter transport.

19 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Body Matters:

20 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Body Matters: – You don’t know who you are until you examine your body (thoroughly)

21 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Body Matters: – You don’t know who you are until you examine your body (thoroughly) – You would not survive a brain transplant into another body (human or artificial)

22 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Body Matters: – You don’t know who you are until you examine your body (thoroughly) – You would not survive a brain transplant into another body (human or artificial) – You would survive gradual prosthetic replacements, but not sudden ones.

23 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Brain Matters:

24 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Brain Matters: – You don’t know who you are until you examine your brain (thoroughly)

25 Consequences of Matter Matters Views: Brain Matters: – You don’t know who you are until you examine your brain (thoroughly) – There is something important about your brain aside from what it does. In order to endorse this view you must have an account of what this is, or else you don’t really have a Matter Matters view, but instead…

26 Theories: 2.Mind Matters: By ‘mind’ we mean psychology. A person’s psychology survives if their personality, memories, habits, beliefs, desires, etc. survive.

27 Consequences of Mind Matters View: Matter Matters views are incorrect.

28 Consequences of Mind Matters View: Matter Matters views are incorrect. – You can survive prosthetic brain operations

29 Consequences of Mind Matters View: Matter Matters views are incorrect. – You can survive prosthetic brain operations – You can survive implantation into an android body, or no body at all.

30 Consequences of Mind Matters View: Matter Matters views are incorrect. – You can survive prosthetic brain operations – You can survive implantation into an android body, or no body at all. – You can survive (at least instantaneous) information transport.

31 Psychological Continuers When we apply the closest continuer schema to changes in a person over time, we seem to put more weight on psychological properties than outward physical properties.

32 Psychological Continuers When we apply the closest continuer schema to changes in a person over time, we seem to put more weight on psychological properties than outward physical properties. If this view is correct, then we ought to have no objection to information transport.

33 Objections to Information Transport There are three major objections to the mind- over-matter closest continuer view:

34 Objections to Information Transport There are three major objections to the mind- over-matter closest continuer view: 1.The Principle of Independence 2.Phenomenology 3.The Exclusion Principle

35 The Principle of Independence Kirk body Kirk mind Kirk body Kirk mind Android body Kirk mind T1 T2 In this case, A is Kirk’s closest continuer because it combines Kirk’s psychological AND physical properties, but if A did not survive, then B would be the closest continuer. A B

36 The Principle of Independence Kirk body Kirk mind Kirk body Kirk mind Android body Kirk mind T1 T2 In this case, A is Kirk’s closest continuer because it combines Kirk’s psychological AND physical properties, but if A did not survive, then B would be the closest continuer. The principle of independence states that either A or B should either be Kirk or not be Kirk regardless of the existence of the other entity. A B

37 The Principle of Independence The principle of independence only applies if we have a concept of identity, rather than just similarity.

38 The Principle of Independence The principle of independence only applies if we have a concept of identity, rather than just similarity. If the closest continuer schema is about similarity rather than identity, one might wonder if similarity after transport is enough to mean survival.

39 Phenomenology Phenomenology refers to what it is like to have your mental states.

40 Phenomenology Phenomenology refers to what it is like to have your mental states. People commonly think that if they were turned into a functionally identical android, their mental states would feel different to them.

41 Phenomenology Since information transport and androidization are no different from the perspective of the closest continuer theory, then if you don’t survive androidization, you wouldn’t survive information transport either.

42 Phenomenology This objection sounds plausible to many, but it suffers from problems with its internal consistency.

43 Phenomenology This objection sounds plausible to many, but it suffers from problems with its internal consistency. Namely, if all of your mental states felt different, they wouldn’t BE your old mental states.

44 The Exclusion Principle Since beaming looks like magic, we can accept that the same person that disappears, reappears. Since androidization looks like science, we cannot accept that the same person that has their parts replaced, persists.

45 The Exclusion Principle Since beaming looks like magic, we can accept that the same person that disappears, reappears. Since androidization looks like science, we cannot accept that the same person that has their parts replaced, persists. The Exclusion Principle states that we can believe in the results of magical, but not of man-made processes.

46 The Exclusion Principle Obviously, Hanley doesn’t think much of the Exclusion Principle. There seems to be no rational basis for accepting the Exclusion Principle.

47 Hanley’s conclusion Since psychological properties are evidently preserved in matter transport, information transport, and androidization, it is rational to accept each procedure, and superstitious to refuse.

48 Objection to Hanley If the mind-over-matter closest continuer schema is correct, then any kind of delayed transport poses a problem: For some length of time, there is no continuer at all.

49 Objection to Hanley If the mind-over-matter closest continuer schema is correct, then any kind of delayed transport poses a problem: For some length of time, there is no continuer at all. By analogy, this view would indicate that we do not survive periods of coma, sleep, or other unconsciousness.

50 Objection to Hanley So if we do indeed survive matter or information transport, delayed or instantaneous, then it is for reasons other than psychological closest-continuation.

51 Objection to Hanley So if we do indeed survive matter or information transport, delayed or instantaneous, then it is for reasons other than psychological closest-continuation. What could those reasons be?

52 Wrap-up on metaphysics The things we say, think, and base decisions on in everyday life require metaphysical assumptions.

53 Wrap-up on metaphysics The things we say, think, and base decisions on in everyday life require metaphysical assumptions. Metaphysical problems are not isolated to philosophy class.

54 Wrap-up on metaphysics Not all metaphysical assumptions are equally good.

55 Wrap-up on metaphysics Not all metaphysical assumptions are equally good. There are many things we can’t be sure of, so we must do the best we can to be creative and critical so as to at least do the best we can.


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