The sum of all thoughts: Prospects of uploading the mind to a computer

William P. Cheshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Beginning with the premise that the human mind is fundamentally a computer, and extrapolating from the history of computer technology, which has yielded everincreasing processing speeds, some futurists forecast a time when it may become possible to upload the human brain to a computer and thereby attain enhanced powers and a sort of immortality. Such predictions add new meaning to the idiom of having one's mind in a cloud. They also raise profound ethical questions. The suggestion that brain uploading could be achieved safely suggests unbridled hubris. The belief that human identity could be faithfully replicated in a machine is possible only within a reductionistic, hence inadequate, understanding of the human person. A hypothetical post-neuron future in silicon could never be more than a collection of inauthentic human representations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalEthics and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy


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