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Let's assume the world is defined as everything there is. Then subjective experiences are included in the world, and they are "things".

Then each subjective experience has a point of view through which it experiences the world. These point of views are also things or properties of the world, because they exist.

Then one of the points of view is assigned to me. I call this point of view as "I" or "eye" or simply "me".

Now if the world is everything there is, then this "eye" is also a thing in the world, and it's unambiguously assigned to me. This assignment itself is a property of the world.

Yet, if you ask someone else, they say the "eye" is assigned to them, because they observe the world from their point of view. Or they might say that there are multiple "eyes" that are assigned to multiple subjective experiences.

However, if that was the case, then it would be impossible to determine which "eye" should correspond to my subjective experience. There are multiple people with multiple subjective experiences, all having a point of view, then there is not enough information to know which one is in fact my life that I'm living now.

On the other hand, if there is a single "eye" that is assigned to multiple people, then that would require the property of the "eye" to take on multiple states simultaneously. This would mean I am me, but I am also someone else at the same time.

Yet, because of my existence, I know that in the world, there exists such single unambiguous assignment, because I simply know which person I am. Does this lead to a paradox?

The only way I can think of resolving the paradox is that there may be multiple subjective experiences, but only one "eye" or point of view that is "me". So in fact, it's only me who observes the world, and others do not.

This also implies that there is one-to-one mapping between the objective world and points of view, instead of one-to-many.

How else could the paradox be resolved?

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    The so-called vertiginous question seems to be be of relevance here. This old question of mine might also be relevant. – w128 Nov 21 '19 at 1:13
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    Not everything included in the world is a "thing", properties and states of things aren't things, and neither are experiences. Points of view aren't "assigned", point of view of experience of point of view is just nonsensical. The paradox is based on first reifying experiences into "things", then separating them from that which they are experiences of, and finally "puzzling" over how to put those back together. Subjective experiences are not "things", they do not float apart from their subjects, so there is no problem of "assigning" them to those either. – Conifold Nov 21 '19 at 1:58
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    What I am saying is that "had my subjective experience been the subjective experience of someone else" makes no more sense than "had squares been round". It is oxymoronic, and illustrates our freedom to string words together. But squareness of squares is not detachable from the squares, and we do not go puzzling over squareness and roundness getting "assigned" to squares and circles. – Conifold Nov 21 '19 at 4:56
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    Point of view is a string attached to our phenomenal experience, a mere concept. Your double mistake consists in a) pretending to be able to equate objects of thought with entities that "objectively exist in the world" - whatever that may mean - and b) taking the abstract string "point of view" - a concept indeed many individual experiences can be subsumed under - to mean the same and have the same properties regardless of the pronouns attached to it. This is Socratic sophism or wittgensteinian wordplay, nothing more, because it confuses thought and language with being. – Philip Klöcking Nov 21 '19 at 8:03
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    @PhilipKlöcking While I think I understand where you're coming from, the language is starting to get somewhat disparaging ("this position isn't even worthy of a six-year old"), which I think is counterproductive and also unjustified given that serious philosophers have struggled with similar questions (see below)... – present Nov 23 '19 at 15:08
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While this falls short of resolving the paradox, the following references may be helpful.

JJ Valberg in his Dream, Death, and the Self explores similar paradoxes -- what he calls "extraphilosophical puzzles." Particularly closely related is this one [page 20]:

The first [puzzle] is the "solipsistic puzzle of death": the prospect of my death looms as the end of everything and in that sense as the death; yet I know it is like that for everyone. How could a multitude of deaths each be "the" death?

Also closely related to the conclusion you appear to reach near the end of your question are metaphysical theories introduced by several authors that are mildly solipsistic. Caspar Hare proposes a theory (egocentric presentism) in which one single person's experience is distinguished as the present one. Closely related ideas appear in this paper by Giovanni Merlo. In these works, the authors do attempt to address the issue of additional perspectives (and the fact that others propose similar theories!).

In this paper, Vincent Conitzer draws the analogy to a world simulated on a computer, where the perspective of one of the creatures in the simulation is displayed on a screen in our own world. He argues that, beyond the code responsible for the simulated physics, there must be additional code that determines which creature's perspective to display on the screen, so that there is a further fact, in addition to the simulated physics. This seems closely related to your observation that:

There are multiple people with multiple subjective experiences, all having a point of view, then there is not enough information to know which one is in fact my life that I'm living now.

In the analogy of the simulated world, the mapping between the (simulated) creatures' experiences in the simulated world and the screen(s) on which they are displayed (the "eyes" in your language?) is in the additional code, i.e., not within (the code for) the simulated world itself. Thus, the mapping is a further fact, beyond the simulated world as described by the laws/code governing it. From that, are we justified in concluding that there are further facts in our own case? That is the subject of that paper.

(Some of this text is adapted from this question: Why am I this particular human being?)

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On the other hand, if there is a single "eye" that is assigned to multiple people, then that would require the property of the "eye" to take on multiple states simultaneously. This would mean I am me, but I am also someone else at the same time.

Yes. This is called mysticism. The individual perceiver would not be fundamental to perception.

Yet, because of my existence, I know that in the world, there exists such single unambiguous assignment, because I simply know which person I am. Does this lead to a paradox?

It would if you were right about your being a discrete individual. In fact you do not know which person you are. If you were to follow the Oracle's advice and get to know yourself properly you would find, so they say, you are not a 'single, unambiguous assignment'.

The only way I can think of resolving the paradox is that there may be multiple subjective experiences, but only one "eye" or point of view that is "me". So in fact, it's only me who observes the world, and others do not.

I feel this is almost right. If there is (by reduction, or on close examination) only one 'me' then there are no 'others'. For the mystic there are no 'others' and no 'other'. What there would be is two ways of being conscious.

In the shamanism of the Ute and Pueblo Indians as described by the shaman Beautiful Painted Arrow these two states would be, in translation, 'Believing We Exist' and 'Awakened Awareness'. These two phrases may reveal the solution for your dilemma. If we all share the same 'me' as our source and origin then it would be only you who observe the world, as is claimed by the Perennial philosophy, but 'you' would be the same phenomenon in every case.

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You state it is impossible to find out what eye is referring to you at the time. You also state the eye can be called "I" or "me". This entity can also have another name, though. "You". If I was to describe your subjective experience, I would use "you", just like I just used "Your". This is basic, but we do not think about it, as we do not think from other's perspectives. But if you just called someone else's eye "your eye", we can refer to points of view and paradox solved.

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  • When you call my "eye" You, what should I call your eye, also You? Are they the same? In fact, you are changing the point of view, which is a property of the world itself. However, the world I live in has one definite point of view that cannot be changed. So you are describing a different world from mine. But since there is one world out there, that includes "everything", the paradox still holds. – siamii Nov 21 '19 at 2:39
  • If both of us are "I", then we are the same, "eye". If both of us are "You", then "eye" is some 3rd party neutral observer (God?). If "eye" is me or "eye" is you then the property of point of view takes on multiple states simultaneously. All of these scenarios are impossible. – siamii Nov 21 '19 at 2:39
  • Then do not even use a pronoun. I would say siamii's point of view and you would know it is your point of view because I used your name. – Math Bob Nov 23 '19 at 0:46
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You might like Richard Swinburne. See this short video here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pRqtg1j9oBY

I believe that he reasons in much the same way that you do, and would accept the first horn of your dilemma, that there are multiple "I's" in the world. Just because we can't determine (say, by means of empirical science) why I have one point of view and not another's, it doesn't mean that there isn't a fact of the matter. Furthermore, if there is such a fact of the matter, we can put constraints on what such a fact could even in principle look like.

Suppose that there is a fact of the matter of which point of view "I" have. It would seem that the point of view I have is not determined by any of the physical facts about the world, since we can imagine a physically identical world (composed of the same matter, physical laws, and so on) where I have your experiences and you have my experiences. Since these worlds would be physically identical, that we have different points of view must be grounded in a non-physical fact. Hence, Swinburne's belief in dualism.

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Interesting on two fronts, if there is a 'shared' perspective and that in some way characterizes the point of view that humans are not unique entities but are a more or less shared experience; Then we need to accommodate our communal being. If, on the other hand, each of us is the unique 'eye', then that evokes freedom and the ability to shape our own lives unencumbered. Either way, no paradox, just possibility. CMS

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I call this point of view as "I" or "eye" or simply "me".

The terms above aren't exactly intergangable: "eye" would denote the lowest level of awareness, simple consciousness of the environment, a point of view "as is"; however "me" goes deeper, now there is self consciousness, awareness of the particularness of your point of view within the environment. "I" is only subtly differentiated from "me": "I" interact with the environment while the environment interacts with "me", there is an outward rather than an inward view, an acceptance of the "outside" as distinct from me and ownership of of the capacity to affect the other... Roughly we have sentience ("eye"), self-awareness (me) and sapience ("I").

So in short, a single objective entity can have multiple "points of view" simultaneously!

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