Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A Possible Cure for Death

Chemical preservation of the brain may prevent death. Life for an individual human being is inextricably linked to the existence of his or her mind. It is widely accepted that the mind is a product of the functioning of the brain, which, according to this view, is nothing more and nothing less than a fantastically complicated machine. Chemical preservation of the brain (promptly after the cessation of vital functions) preserves not only the neuronal configuration but also a great deal of molecular structure. Thus, it is plausible that a chemopreserved brain contains within it the information of the design of the "brain machine". If so, then technology of the distant future may be able to extract that information and construct a new functionally identical brain machine (as well as a body), thereby allowing the corresponding individual to wake up and live again. It is argued that one's identity is defined by what the brain does rather than how it does it or what it does it with, and therefore that replacement of one's brain with a functionally identical machine does not affect one's identity. Some advantages of chemopreservation relative to cryopreservation as a possible means of preventing death are discussed.

OLSON, Charles B. A possible cure for death. Medical hypotheses , 1988, vol. 26, no 1, p. 77-84.

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