Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Time Travel

Time travel is an extensively debated topic which can have real and significant effects on mankind and the way we view the world. Time travel into the future has been proved possible through Einstein's theories where an object moving close to the speed of light would age slower and therefore would essentially travel into the future. However, time travel into the past can be shown to have paradoxical effects as shown in the Grandfather paradox. One view is that whenever a backwards time travel occurs, a new reality forms. This occurs because there is a new "past" that includes the time traveler and is different from the one known to the people in the present. With this alternate reality, or tangent to reality, the grandfather paradox is solved. Does this make sense?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ted's Nugget

Are we sad in virtue of some other thing being sad for us? I think if we accept Quine's view, then yes we are sad in virtue of some other thing. Because Quine would say we are not sad, but a part of us is sad. But I don't think we are sad in virtue of some other thing. And I like Quine's view. Is there any way around this?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Is Physical Possibility Relevant?

I'm often annoyed by these wild scenarios we talk about in class. At first, I will be interested. With more thought, I will become confused. And with more thought, I will just decide that the answer doesn't matter because the scenario we're discussing is not physically/biologically possible.
Does it matter if we're not talking about realistically (physically) possible scenarios?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Essential Property

Is having a body an essential property of personal identity? I just thought this was an interesting idea to consider. Here's a scenario where it applies. Consider a process by which a scan of the brain can be completed so your personality and all of your mental qualities can be stored in a computer. This computer would claim to be you and so clearly would you. So who would be "the real" you. Also what if the scan destroyed your body and all that was left was the machine claiming to be you? Would that change anything?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Staying Alive

Staying Alive is a game of personal identity.

From their site:

"Objective: The aim of the game is to stay alive!

How to play: There are three rounds. In each round, you will be presented with a scenario and then offered two choices. The decisions that you make determine whether you stay alive or perish. You should always base your decisions on nothing more than the desire to keep yourself in existence. Also, note that you should take each scenario presented to you at face value. The situation will be as described - there are no "tricks" - and you do not need to worry about other 'what ifs'.

At the end of the game you will discover if you have stayed alive or not, although, being a philosophical game, the answer won't be that straightforward..."

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Anyone care to talk about how you are presenting the argument for the Ship of Theseus paradox?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I'm having trouble with the concept that two distinct identities can share parts but not coincide. In the story of Tib and Tibbles you have tib and tibbles at the begining and they aren't technically coinciding but tib is completley within Tibbles. So in my view they are at least partially coinciding. If Tib weighs 30 pounds and tibbles weighs 35 when you put them up on the table you get 35 pounds not 75. Can this paradox start with a "partial" coincidence?"