Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 25, 2022 - Philosophy - 544 pages
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A leading philosopher takes a mind-bending journey through virtual worlds, illuminating the nature of reality and our place within it.

Virtual reality is genuine reality; that’s the central thesis of Reality+. In a highly original work of “technophilosophy,” David J. Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that virtual worlds are not second-class worlds, and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be in a virtual world already.

Along the way, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of big ideas in philosophy and science. He uses virtual reality technology to offer a new perspective on long-established philosophical questions. How do we know that there’s an external world? Is there a god? What is the nature of reality? What’s the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? All of these questions are illuminated or transformed by Chalmers’ mind-bending analysis.

Studded with illustrations that bring philosophical issues to life, Reality+ is a major statement that will shape discussion of philosophy, science, and technology for years to come.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A massive exploration of "technophilosophy" in which each of the 24 chapters has a question as its title. The early chapters introduce such ideas as the simulation hypothesis and the argument in its ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - albertgoldfain - LibraryThing

Covers a lot of ground and provides a useful new lens through which to look at the problems of philosophy. Some of the arguments are speculative and hand-wavy and most of the examples feature ... Read full review


Introduction Adventures in technophilosophy
Is this the real life?
What is the simulation hypothesis?
Do we know things?
Can we prove there is an external world?
What is reality?
Is God a hacker in the next universe
Do virtual reality headsets create reality?
Can we avoid being deceived by deepfakes?
How do mind and body interact in a virtual world?
Can there be consciousness in a digital world?
Can you lead a good life in a virtual world?
What do our words mean in virtual worlds?
Do dust clouds run computer programs?
Have we fallen from the Garden of Eden?
Are we Boltzmann brains in a dream world?

Are virtual reality devices illusion machines?
Does augmented reality lead to alternative facts?

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About the author (2022)

David Chalmers is a professor of philosophy and neural science and co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness at New York University. He wrote The Conscious Mind, The Character of Consciousness, and Constructing the World, and lives in New York.

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