The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds

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.

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