Re: physics of uploading minds

From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 20:25:43 MST

The obvious response to this is that we store some memories even while
asleep, and that dreaming people who are woken report consciousness of
that dreaming. There is a continuity to our *minds* even if we suffer
from forgetfullness while asleep.

It seems just as valid to look at identity in terms of an idealisation,
historically, through memory, as something which supervenes on
subsystems, or as an Empty concept (i.e. identity is just a convenient
description for all our subsystems, and exists in a relational sense). I
prefer the final way.

Identity, for me, can cope with the discontinuities of sleep and
personality change. It is a linguistic term, and people don't have
trouble understanding that a person can change drastically, yet still
refer to them by the same name. Identity has many forms, only some of
which are affected by discontinuity.

Perhaps it's better to say that human identity isn't damaged by
discontinuity. Perhaps the question is what kinds of discontinuity
constitute "harm" to the individual, and which do not?

Abstractly, I can imagine other kinds of existence where these concepts
are, shall we say, stretched? They are interesting questions, but I
don't think they disprove the validity of using the term "identity".


> Note: I do not subscribe to this view. Just as I think that there is
> "Cause," I believe that there might be some mechanism that connects
> consciousnesses. I understand how this might work on the half-second
> level - this is what I'm doing my PhD on - but I have serious doubts
> about the continuity of Css across things like sleep. I'm pretty much
> undecided about whether there is an absolute "personal identity".
> -- Olie

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