Reality+

Reality+

Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

Summary

'Everyone should read this important book' Josh Glancy, Sunday Times

'One of the most important living philosophers' Bryan Appleyard, Spectator

In the coming decades, the technology that enables virtual and augmented reality will improve beyond recognition. Within a century, world-renowned philosopher David J. Chalmers predicts, we will have virtual worlds that are impossible to distinguish from non-virtual worlds. But is virtual reality just escapism?

In a highly original work of 'technophilosophy', Chalmers argues categorically, no: virtual reality is genuine reality. Virtual worlds are not second-class worlds. We can live a meaningful life in virtual reality - and increasingly, we will.

What is reality, anyway? How can we lead a good life? Is there a god? How do we know there's an external world - and how do we know we're not living in a computer simulation? In Reality+, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of philosophy, using cutting-edge technology to provide invigorating new answers to age-old questions.

Drawing on examples from pop culture, literature and film that help bring philosophical issues to life, Reality+ is a mind-bending journey through virtual worlds, illuminating the nature of reality and our place within it.

Reviews

  • Chalmers is a joy: an exuberant guide through challenging terrain, quick with anecdotes and arguments, wit and wild ideas
    Kieran Setiya, TLS

About the author

David J. Chalmers

David J. Chalmers is University Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York University. His previous books include The Conscious Mind and Constructing the World. He has given the John Locke lectures and has been awarded the Jean Nicod Prize. He is known for formulating the 'hard problem' of consciousness, which inspired Tom Stoppard's play The Hard Problem, and for the idea of the 'extended mind', which says that the tools we use can become parts of our minds.
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