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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Can We Copy the Mind? Disputing with Transhumanism 1023

Poddyakov A.N.
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, ,, State University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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).

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

Column: Discussions And Discourses

For Reference

  1. Zubtsov Iu.M. "Cheloveka nel'zia zapisat' na fleshku": interv'iu s M.Falikman ["Man can not be written on the stick": an interview with M.Falikman]. Psychologies. Available at: falikman (Accessed 01/11/2013)
  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.
  3. Iudin B.G. Sotvorenie Transcheloveka [Creation tran- shuman]. Vestnik Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk [Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences]. 2007. Tom 77. № 6.
  4. Medvedev D. An introduction to mind uploading. November 20, 2005. Available at: http://livingtomorrow.

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