Who am I? Personhood, Consciousness, and Transhumanist Visions

Speaker(s): Jens Jens Zimmermann, Edward Slingerland
Date: Fall 2018
Length: 1h34m
Product ID: RGDL4802BH

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This is a Interface Lecture Series talk given during the fall of 2018.

Human consciousness is increasingly understood in technological terms. The Transhumanist vision of uploading consciousness into a computer matrix and then eventually downloading one's personality onto synthetic bodies is only the extreme edge of a popular perception. In this lecture, Professor Jens Zimmermann argues that modern culture embraces a reductive model of human identity and perception based on an already defunct scientific epistemology. Since who we think we are is deeply connected to the how we think we know and perceive reality, this lecture, with the help of theology and personalist philosophy, offers a more robust model of consciousness that grounds personhood and therefore also human dignity.

The lecture was followed by response from Dr. Edward Slingerland.

Interface offers lectures, articles and other resources that probe and preserve the relationship between theology and science,working toward healing the breach between these disciplines as they have taken shape in our late modern age.

The John Templeton Foundation

Interface has been made possible through the John Templeton Foundation. The Foundation aims to advance human well-being by supporting research on the Big Questions, and by promoting character development, individual freedom, and free markets. The Foundation takes its vision from its founding benefactor, the late Sir John Templeton, who sought to stimulate what he described as 'spiritual progress.'

See All Audio by Jens Jens Zimmermann Edward Slingerland

Jens Zimmermann is Associate Professor of German and English at Trinity Western University and has been awarded a five-year Canadian Council Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion, and Culture, beginning in the fall of 2006. He has published works across several disciplines, including Recovering Theological Hermeneutics: an Incarnational-Trinitarian Theory of Interpretation and, with Dr. Norman Klassen, The Passionate Intellect: Incarnational humanism and the future of university education.

Dr. Edward Slingerland is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. An internationally renowned expert in Chinese thought, comparative religion, and cognitive science, he has previously held the Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition. Dr. Slingerland is the author of several academic books and articles, including What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture as well as a translation of the Analects of Confucius. His recent trade book is entitled Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science, and the Power of Spontaneity, and his latest academic monograph, Mind and Body in Early China: Getting Beyond Orientalism and the Myth of Holism.

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