Mind Uploading and Embodied Cognition: A Theological Response

One of the more radical transhumanist proposals for future human being envisions the uploading of our minds to a digital substrate, trading our dependence on frail, degenerating "meat" bodies for the immortality of software existence. Yet metaphor studies indicate that our use of metaphor...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Zygon
Main Author: Lorrimar, Victoria (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2019]
In:Zygon
Year: 2019, Volume: 54, Issue: 1, Pages: 191-206
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Transhumanism / Body / Spirit / Artificial intelligence
Further subjects:B mind uploading
B embodied cognition
B artificial intelligence
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:One of the more radical transhumanist proposals for future human being envisions the uploading of our minds to a digital substrate, trading our dependence on frail, degenerating "meat" bodies for the immortality of software existence. Yet metaphor studies indicate that our use of metaphor operates in our bodily inhabiting of the world, and a phenomenological approach emphasizes a "hybridity" to human being that resists traditional mind/body dichotomies. Future scenarios envisioning mind uploading and disembodied artificial intelligence (AI) share an apocalyptic category with more traditional religious eschatologies, though they differ markedly in content; therefore, the insights of embodied cognition and their uptake in technological innovation are considered as they apply to theological concerns. Theology often functions in debates over the technological future to critique or to caution. However, theologians may learn from their technological dialogue partners when it comes to the future of embodiment and its implications for the construction and practice of theology.
ISSN:1467-9744
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12481