Remembering and Duplication

Given my previous post on the relationship between remembering and truth, there are some interesting offshoots.┬áLet’s look at an example. Suppose we have a duplicator machine that, well, makes duplicates of anything you want. Let’s say we have Saul Kripke stand in the place where the model is supposed to be and the duplicator machine duplicates Kripke. Call the model Kripke(1) and the duplicate Kripke(2). Suppose Kripke(1) and Kripke(2) wander off and we lose track of them. Later on, we find them both and put them in an interrogation room. Assume that they have not forgotten anything in the meantime. Is there anyway to tell which one is Kripke(1) and which one is Kripke(2)? In fact, a simple way is related to remembering things. So we administer truth serum to them that makes them tell the truth 100% of the time. Now, since a necessary condition of remembering something is that the thing is true, we can ask the following question: do you remember being the model for the duplicator machine? Only Kripke(1) can answer in the affirmative and so we have discovered which person is Kripke(1) and which person is Kripke(2).

Remembering and Truth

I really had never thought about this until I saw a brief post by Andrew Moon linking to some of his papers about the connection between the two. So a tip of my hat to him for raising the issue.

Consider the following. I am talking to my brother and we are discussing what we did yesterday. I remark, “well I remember doing some skeet shooting and that was really fun!” My brother retorts, “you don’t remember that because it didn’t happen! You only think you remember that.”

This conversation seems natural enough and it happens in a similar fashion quite often. The offshoot of all of this is that a necessary condition of remembering something is the truth of that thing. That has some interesting offshoots in itself. Feel free to post some of them if you think of any.