Webinar

Mikhail Sergeev, "The Issue of Self-Identity in Transhumanism and Bahá’í Writings"

Oct 25, 2020

Transhumanism or H+ is an intellectual and cultural movement whose ultimate goal is to achieve “singularity” – the merging of human biology and computer technology in order to enhance human capabilities and, in the long run, to make humanity immortal. The concept of singularity applies first and foremost to the brain, which is the conduit for human mind, consciousness and self-identity. As a result, transhumanists find themselves at the center of millennia-old polemics about the origin of life and the nature of human soul. What happens if a person’s brain is irreversibly damaged and replaced by its artificial duplicate? Will it be the same human being or a different one? Where exactly can the seed of human identity be found? In this web presentation we will examine, from a Bahá’í perspective, these and similar questions arising in contemporary technological discourse that involve various competing theories of the human self.

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Mikhail Yu. Sergeev, PhD

WI Department Coordinator (Religion, Theology, and Philosophy)

Mikhail Sergeev (b. 1960) – Ph.D. in philosophy of religion (1997, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA); historian of religion, philosopher, writer. Sergeev teaches history of religions, philosophy, and contemporary art at the University of Arts in Philadelphia. He served as co-chair of the department of religion, philosophy, and theology at Wilmette Institute (2017–21). The author of more than two hundred scholarly, journalistic, and creative works, Sergeev published them in the United States, Canada, Japan, Poland, Greece, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Uzbekistan, and Russia. Some of his articles were translated into Polish and Japanese, and his books were reviewed in Germany, Japan, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and the United States. He has authored and edited twelve books, including the monograph, Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity, and the Bahá’í Faith, (Brill, 2015) and his latest, Russian Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century: An Anthology (Brill, 2020).See Faculty Bio

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