X-Message-Number: 25283
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 23:46:08 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: QE survival
References: <>

In Richard's view, "personal survival is defined as survival of the 
qualia  experiencer." The QE is said to survive under some conditions and 
under others not to survive. In particular, it appears that we can 
gradually replace the atoms in a QE and the original still survives, even 
if all the atoms are replaced. We must do this in such a way that *a* QE 
can be said to exist at all the intermediate times. At the end, however, we 
have a replica of the original. So now we treat this replica as *the* 
original, and we say the original person associated with this QE survives, 
even though the all-important QE is really just a copy. Under other 
conditions, of course, we can produce a copy QE in which, according to 
Richard, the subjective life of the original does not and cannot continue. 
I've said before that this seems arbitrary. I see no reason why it should 
be self-evident that a gradual replacement of atoms in the QE *must* result 
in continuation of the subjective life of the *original* person, if we 
allow that sometimes copying the QE would not permit this. One can 
postulate, for instance, that the *original* subjective life *cannot 
continue* if the atoms are replaced--different atoms, different system, 
original dead, as I've said before. I think this is an unprovable 
conjecture, but then I also think that the claim that the original 
(sometimes) survives in a copy is unprovable too, and we have no basis for 
assurance that it *must* be so.

Best to all,
Mike Perry

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