X-Message-Number: 18021
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 07:49:07 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: yet more on identity

Hi again!

For Dave Pizer, it seems to me that if we can assume that we know enough
about how we're (or just our brains) are put together, then it should
make no difference just what method is used. 

I do not want to obscure that assumption, though I would say myself that
(from all the reading I've done about how brains work) it seems QUITE
unlikely that some totally presently unknown fact about brain        
construction would make that assumption false. Furthermore, if we assume
that it is false, then we don't have duplicate people at all (supposing,
contrary to your implication, that the damaged brain could be looked
through in the necessary detail WITHOUT destroying it). Instead we
have 2 different people put together differently. That on awakening
they each called themselves by the same name hardly makes them copies
of one another... and if that is a USEFUL definition of identity,
please tell me why it is useful.

Because I brought up the issue of mathematics, I will raise it again
here. Yes, we have great freedom as individuals in terms of what we
consider as identical and what we consider different. However in terms
of making our definition of identity interesting to others there are
strong limits of what we can say. We can define identity as we wish,
but we must also keep an eye out to whether or not others will think
our definition is worth thinking about.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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