The Napoleon Delusion Argument – Peter Forrest (University of New England)
The Napoleon Delusion Argument against the Growing Block invites us to consider Napoleon , still real according to the Growing Block , thinking thoughts about what is going on ‘now’ in 1815. Poor deluded man we think! David Lewis points out that growing-block theorists have no grounds for rejecting the thesis that we are as deluded as Napoleon it is now, say, 2115 and we are all dead, but mistakenly think it is now 2014. That this absurd conclusion follows is a serious objection to the Growing Block.
In this paper, I expound a version of the Growing Block and offer what I take to be the only possible solution, namely that to be a conscious Self, such as Napoleon once was, requires the absence of future conscious states. This leads to a theory of the ephemeral character of the unity of consciousness, which may well be edifying. At the risk of being accused of Narcissism I shall also explain why I now reject an earlier solution I proposed.
Full paper here.
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