Reality+ Virtual worlds and the problems of philosophy

David John Chalmers, 1966-

Book - 2022

"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 argues that virtual worlds generated by computers are not second-class worlds. We can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be living in a computer simulation already-and if we are, tha...t's not so bad. What is reality, anyway? How do we know there's an external world? What's the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? Is there a god? In Reality+, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of philosophy, using virtual worlds to illuminate all of these questions and to provide new answers to many of them. Studded with illustrations that bring philosophical issues to life, Reality+ is a major statement that will shape discussion of philosophy and technology for years to come"--

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006.8/Chalmers
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2nd Floor New Shelf 006.8/Chalmers (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 14, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : W. W. Norton & Company [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxiv, 520 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [471]-503) and index.
ISBN
9780393635805
0393635805
Main Author
David John Chalmers, 1966- (author)
Other Authors
Tim Peacock (illustrator)
  • Introduction: Adventures in technophilosophy
  • Part 1: Virtual worlds. Is this the real life?
  • What is the simulation hypothesis?
  • Part 2: Knowledge. Do we know things?
  • Can we prove there is an external world?
  • Is it likely that we're in a simulation?
  • Part 3: Reality. What is reality?
  • Is God a hacker in the next universe up?
  • Is the universe made of information?
  • Did simulation create its from bits?
  • Part 4: Real virtual reality. Do virtual reality headsets create reality?
  • Are virtual reality devices illusion machines?
  • Does augmented reality lead to alternative facts?
  • Can we avoid being deceived by deepfakes?
  • Part 5: Mind. How do mind and body interact in a virtual world?
  • Can there be consciousness in a digital world?
  • Does augmented reality extend the mind?
  • Part 6: Value. Can you lead a good life in a virtual world?
  • Do simulated lives matter?
  • How should we build a virtual society?
  • Part 7: Foundations. What do our words mean in virtual worlds?
  • Do dust clouds run computer programs?
  • Is reality a mathematical structure?
  • Have we fallen from the Garden of Eden?
  • Are we Boltzmann brains in a dream world?
Review by PW Annex Reviews

"Virtual worlds need not be second-class realities," writes philosopher Chalmers (The Conscious Mind) in this fascinating look at the simulation hypothesis, which proposes that humans are more likely than not living in a computer simulation. According to Chalmers, advances in computing power and virtual reality technology put long-standing philosophical questions about the nature of reality in a new light, as vast and highly sophisticated simulations become commonplace. Virtual reality, Chalmers writes, offers a chance to reckon with a tradition of philosophical skepticism that, beginning with Descartes, dismisses simulated reality as mere illusion. For Chalmers, virtual reality is a "genuine" reality composed of bits rather than atoms and quarks—and while "the virtual object is different from the nonvirtual one," he writes, "both are equally real." The implications of Chalmers's "simulation realism" are various and eye-opening, as in the new life the hypothesis lends to religious concepts of creation and a creator. Crafted with the general reader in mind, this is an object lesson in philosophical reasoning and a bold, often awe-inspiring discussion of its implications. Philosophy-minded readers weened on The Matrix and ready for the metaverse will want to take a look. (Jan.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"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 argues that virtual worlds generated by computers are not second-class worlds. We can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be living in a computer simulation already-and if we are, that's not so bad. What is reality, anyway? How do we know there's an external world? What's the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? Is there a god? In Reality+, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of philosophy, using virtual worlds to illuminate all of these questions and to provide new answers to many of them. Studded with illustrations that bring philosophical issues to life, Reality+ is a major statement that will shape discussion of philosophy and technology for years to come"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Reality+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.Reality+

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A leading philosopher takes a mind-bending journey through virtual worlds, illuminating the nature of reality and our place within it.