Virtual reality technology is advancing fast. Many predict that a "Metaverse" of virtual worlds will be the next stage of the Internet. We may eventually have complete simulated universes, as in the blockbuster 1999 movie The Matrix.
Philosopher David Chalmers argues that virtual reality is genuine reality. Virtual worlds generated by computers need not be fake or fictional realities. We can live a meaningful life in VR. We could even be in a Matrix-style virtual world already—and if we are, that's not so bad.
Drawing on his new book Reality+, he examines virtual reality technology as offering a key to new perspectives on longstanding philosophical questions: How do we know that there’s an external world? Is there a god? What’s the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? No matter which world we may inhabit, Chalmers leads a compelling journey as he explores the nature of reality and our place within it.
Chalmers is a university professor of philosophy and neural science and the codirector of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University. His book, Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy (W. W. Norton & Company) is available for purchase.
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