Bernard Williams' body swapping thought experiment

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Re: Bernard Williams' body swapping thought experiment

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Sat May 25, 2019 11:34 am

sykkelmannen wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:00 pm
Body. A vessel for consciousness without any psychological properties. You'd shed your old body like you would worn out clothes, and buy yourself another one (if you had the means). Your identity remained the same, just physical appearance changed.
In this show, consciousness was immortal as long as it was downloaded on the "stack" which was placed in the cervical vertebrae. If the stack got physically destroyed, it meant perma[nent]-death. So you could live forever switching worn out bodies, as long as you had the money to buy them and avoided headshots.
An interesting concept. Not sure how it would work in practice. It raises an interesting question as to whether you would actually be living forever or it would simply be many different people sharing your memories.

Similarly, if you and the other person switched consciousness, so that the other body is being tortured, but with your memories, is that a selfish or unselfish action for you to take? It would depend on whether or not you believe it is the memories that make up who you are or purely the physical "sleeve".

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Post by Sunflowers » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:50 pm

I am not my personality or my memories. I 'have' a personality, and I 'have' memories, but I am not identical with either. I am a mind. And so although the scientist may successfully programme another mind into possessing my personality and having my memories, the scientist will not thereby have made me into that other mind. So, I think it is quite clear: if I am rational and self-interested I would want the money to come to me, and for the other person to be tortured. Yes, subsequent to the operation that other person will be as convinced that he is I as I am - but that's neither here nor there. That doesn't mean that I will undergo the torture. He will undergo the torture, he'll just undergo it thinking he's me.

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