Can We Copy the Mind? Disputing with Transhumanism

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Abstract

The paper discusses the technical and humanitarian aspects of the thesis of transhumanism about the pos- sibility of copying the mind to a medium and rewriting it repeatedly (digital immortality). It is argued that the nature of the mind implies that it cannot be supported without its functioning, even if recorded, and such func- tioning (digital life) would inevitably lead to a discrepancy between the copy and the original. The paper fur- ther substantiates that the very fact of making such record seems highly unlikely due to the physical restric- tions of the world, as well as to the effects of the following natural tendency: technologies would develop not in the direction of the 'copyableness' of the evolving human consciousness, but in the opposite direction of the increasing impossibility of copying the even more complicated mind (i.e. complexity growing faster than the means of precise copying).

General Information

Keywords: transhumanism, copying mind and consciousness, digital immortality, digital life, real death, dilemmas of the copied, copying complexity

Journal rubric: Discussions and Discourses

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Poddyakov A.N. Can We Copy the Mind? Disputing with Transhumanism. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 110–113. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

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  2. Penrouz R. Novyi um korolia: o komp'iuterakh, mysh- lenii i zakonakh fiziki. [Emperor's New Mind: about comput- ers, thinking and the laws of physics]. Moscow, 2003.
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  4. Medvedev D. An introduction to mind uploading. November 20, 2005. Available at: http://livingtomorrow. blogspot.ru/2005/11/introduction-to-mind-uploading.html.

Information About the Authors

Aleksander N. Poddyakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Member of the International Society for Studies of Behaviour Development (ISSBD), Member of the editorial boards of the journals: “Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics", "Researcher/Researcher", "Culture and Psychology", "Mathematical Thinking and Learning", "International Journal of Idiographic Science", Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6793-9985, e-mail: alpod@gol.ru

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