PHIL10221:: University of Edinburgh :: Semester 1 :: 2022/2023
Course Description: This course is about the relationship between a particular sort of technological development (“virtual worlds”) and the traditional problems of philosophy concerning knowledge, reality, mind, and value. How does the salience of this technology, the way it’s been implemented, and its possible future implementation transform our understanding of these familiar topics? Is it likely that our lives are merely simulations? What’s the difference between reality and virtual reality? How do mind and body interact in a virtual world? Can you live a good life in a virtual world? Our attempt to grapple with these questions will be guided by various doctrines from the history of philosophy (verificationism, externalism, structuralism, dualism, materialism, theism, etc.).
Time and Location: Wednesday, 11:10am to 1pm, in DSB 1.17.
01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100100 01101111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100101 00100000 00100111 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101100 00100111 00111111
Primary Course Text:
Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, by David J. Chalmers
Week 1 (Sept 21): Do we know we aren’t in a virtual world?
Week 2 (Sept 28): How likely is it that we’re in a virtual world?
Week 3 (Oct 5): What is real?
Week 4 (Oct 12): Simulation theology
Week 5 (Oct 19): Simulation realism
Week 6 (Oct 26): No-illusion views (verificationism and externalism)
Week 7 (Nov 2): Minds in virtual worlds
Week 8 (Nov 9): The extended mind and augmented reality
Week 9 (Nov 16): Is there value in a virtual world?
Week 10 (Nov 23): Do simulated lives matter?
Week 11 (Nov 30): Review and discussion
For additional course-related info, consult DRPS or firstname.lastname@example.org.