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ABSTRACT. This article discusses the philosophical implications and potential social consequences of two experimental – and at the present moment still widely speculative – topics at the intersection between scientific and medical advances, the human body, the human mind, and the globalized health care sector. Head-Transplanting is a chirurgical endeavor envisaged by the HEAVEN project announced to be practically implemented around 2017 and to be available for routine-use around the mid-2020s by a group of internationally as prominent as disputed transplant surgeons. Mind-Uploading is a procedure currently in the first stages of development to create artificial representations of the human brain and its processes in computers and on the internet. An example of this was made in a proposition by the Global Future 2045’s 2013 Congress which stated the goal “Towards a New Strategy for Human Evolution” in an open letter to United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, and was debated at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and other institutions. Part 1 of this text describes the current societal framework and the rise of human-technology convergence to civilizational center-stage. Part 2 analyses the philosophies and social imaginaries of Head-Transplanting and Mind-Uploading, as envisaged by their proponents as examples of future “anthropomorphic” technology destined to blend with the human body. Eventually, part 3 draws a non-conclusive and temporary outlook of and around these developments. pp. 38–82

Keywords: technology and medicine; human-technology interaction; human–technology convergence; humanism; transhumanism; human enhancement; healing versus enhancing

How to cite: Benedikter, Roland, Katja Siepmann, and Alexander Reymann (2017), “‘Head-Transplanting’ and ‘Mind-Uploading:’ Philosophical Implications and Potential Social Consequences of Two Medico-Scientific Utopias,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 16: 38–82.

Received 4 July 2016 • Received in revised form 27 August 2016
Accepted 28 August 2016 • Available online 10 September 2016

doi:10.22381/RCP1620172

ROLAND BENEDIKTER
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Willy Brandt Centre,
University of Wroclaw/Breslau
(corresponding author)
KATJA SIEPMANN
Global Studies Department,
University of California, Santa Barbara
ALEXANDER REYMANN
Independent scholar, Berlin

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