The Philosophy of Virtual Reality

David Chalmers

Nov 04,2019
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New realities are imminent: how VR reframes big questions in philosophy

The virtual reality (VR) industry is currently in its infancy, but in just a few decades it’s possible that virtual environments will be nearly indistinguishable from reality. Along with transforming everyday life, a VR revolution could fundamentally change how we understand and define what is real. In this installment of Aeon In Sight, the renowned Australian philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers considers how VR is reframing and shedding new light on some of philosophy’s most enduring questions about cognition, epistemology and the nature of reality.

Producer: Kellen Quinn
Interviewer: Nigel Warburton
Editor: Adam D’Arpino

David Chalmers

DAVID CHALMERS is University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science, and Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University. He is also Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University.

He studied mathematics as an undergraduate then did his Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science at Indiana University, working in Douglas Hofstadter’s artificial intelligence research group.

He is best known for his work on consciousness, including his formulation of the "hard problem" of consciousness.  Also well-known is his work on "the extended mind," the idea that the technology we use (e.g. smartphones and the internet) can literally become part of our minds. His work on language, metaphysics, computation, and artificial intelligence has also attracted much interest.

He is co-founder and past president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and is co-director of the PhilPapers Foundation.

He has published three books: The Conscious Mind, The Character of Consciousness, and Constructing the World.

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