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SPECIAL ISSUE: ON THE VERY IDEA OF LOGICAL FORM

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Special Edition: Chalmers on Virtual Reality

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Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première publication
16 Apr 2017
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

Volume 11 (2019): Edition 55 (December 2019)
Special Edition: Chalmers on Virtual Reality

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première publication
16 Apr 2017
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

9 Articles

You can read the target article (Chalmers 2017, “The Virtual and the Real”) under discussion in this Special Issue here: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0009

access type Accès libre

SI: Chalmers on Virtual Reality Introduction

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 291 - 296

Résumé

Abstract

In June 2016, David Chalmers delivered the Petrus Hispanus Lectures at the LanCog research group, University of Lisbon, on the subject of objects, properties, and perception in virtual reality environments. The paper resulting from these lectures was subsequently published in Disputatio as “The Virtual and the Real” (vol. IX, 2017, No. 46, pp. 309–52). In it, Chalmers defends virtual realism, according to which virtual objects are bona fide digital objects with virtual counterparts of perceptible properties such as colour and shape, and perception in virtual reality environments is typically veridical rather than illusory. This special issue collects responses to Chalmers due to Claus Beisbart, Jesper Juul, Peter Ludlow, Neil McDonnell and Nathan Wildman, Alyssa Ney, Eric Schwitzgebel, and Marc Silcox; together with a detailed response by Chalmers to each paper.

You can read the target article (Chalmers 2017, “The Virtual and the Real”) under discussion in this Special Issue here: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0009

Mots clés

  • David Chalmers
  • virtual reality
  • virtual realism
  • digital objects
  • perception
access type Accès libre

Virtual Realism: Really Realism or only Virtually so? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 297 - 331

Résumé

Abstract

What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to critically engage with Chalmers’s position. I first argue that, if it is sound, his virtual realism should also be applied to objects that figure in scientific computer simulations, e.g. to simulated galaxies. This leads to a slippery slope because it implies an unreasonable proliferation of digital objects. A philosophical analysis of scientific computer simulations suggests an alternative picture: The cat and the galaxies are parts of fictional models for which the computer provides model descriptions. This result motivates a deeper analysis of the way in which Chalmers builds up his realism. I argue that he buys realism too cheap. For instance, he does not really specify what virtual objects are supposed to be. As a result, rhetoric aside, his virtual realism isn’t far from a sort of fictionalism.

Mots clés

  • Computer simulation
  • model
  • fictional model
  • ontology
  • fictionalism
access type Accès libre

Virtual Reality: Fictional all the Way Down (and that’s OK)

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 333 - 343

Résumé

Abstract

Are virtual objects real? I will claim that the question sets us up for the wrong type of conclusion: Chalmers (2017) argues that a virtual calculator (like other entities) is a real calculator when it is “organizationally invariant” with its non-virtual counterpart—when it performs calculation. However, virtual reality and games are defined by the fact that they always selectively implement their source material. Even the most detailed virtual car will still have an infinite range of details which are missing (gas, engines, pistons, fuel, chemical reactions, molecules, atoms). This means that even the most detailed virtual object will still have fictional aspects. Rather than argue that virtual objects are, or aren’t, real, it is preferable to think of overlaps and continuities between the fictional and the real, where even the most painstakingly detailed virtual reality implementation of a non-virtual object is still art: a human process of selection and interpretation. Virtual reality should therefore not be philosophically understood just as a technological implementation on a trajectory to perfection, but as a cultural artifact which derives its value in part from its simplification and difference from its source material.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • games
  • fiction
  • art
access type Accès libre

The Social Furniture of Virtual Worlds

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 345 - 369

Résumé

Abstract

David Chalmers argues that virtual objects exist in the form of data structures that have causal powers. I argue that there is a large class of virtual objects that are social objects and that do not depend upon data structures for their existence. I also argue that data structures are themselves fundamentally social objects. Thus, virtual objects are fundamentally social objects.

Mots clés

  • Virtual worlds
  • computation
  • data structures
  • social objects
  • virtual objects
access type Accès libre

Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 371 - 397

Résumé

Abstract

Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers (2017), and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce a Waltonian variety of ictionalism about the virtual, arguing that this sort of irrealist approach avoids the problems of the realist positions, fits with a unifying theory of representational works, and offers a better account of the phenomenology of engaging in virtual experiences.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • realism
  • irrealism
  • fictionalism
  • Ken Walton
access type Accès libre

On Phenomenal Functionalism about the Properties of Virtual and Non-virtual Objects

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 399 - 410

Résumé

Abstract

According to phenomenal functionalism, whether some object or event has a given property is determined by the kinds of sensory experiences such objects or events typically cause in normal perceivers in normal viewing conditions. This paper challenges this position and, more specifically, David Chalmers’s use of it in arguing for what he calls virtual realism.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • virtual objects
  • phenomenal functionalism
  • secondary qualities
access type Accès libre

Kant Meets Cyberpunk

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 411 - 435

Résumé

Abstract

I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian (or Kant*-ian) transcendental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are artificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very different than we suppose. Indeed, since computation does not require spatial properties, spatiality might not be a feature of things as they are in themselves but instead only the way that things necessarily appear to us. It might seem unlikely that we are living in a virtual reality instantiated on a non-spatial computer. However, understanding this possibility can help us appreciate the merits of transcendental idealism in general, as well as transcendental idealism’s underappreciated skeptical consequences.

Mots clés

  • Materialism
  • space
  • structuralism
  • artificial intelligence
  • computation
access type Accès libre

The Transition into Virtual Reality

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 437 - 451

Résumé

Abstract

In “The Virtual and the Real,” David Chalmers argues that there is an epistemic and ontological parity between VR and ordinary reality. My argument here is that, whatever the plausibility of these claims, they provide no basis for supposing that there is a similar parity of value. Careful reflection upon certain aspects of the transition that individuals make from interacting with real-world, physical environments to interacting with VR provides a basis for thinking that, to the extent that there are good reasons to deny the reality of virtual objects, there are also reasons to place a correspondingly higher value upon the experience of interacting with a VR environment. Chalmers’ assumption to the contrary arises from a subtle misrepresentation of how the phenomenon of cognitive penetration works in the perception of virtual objects, and from an unwillingness to acknowledge how our attitudes toward virtual environments are conditioned by the values we adopt when engaged in gameplay.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • David Chalmers
  • games
  • cognitive penetration
  • experience machine
access type Accès libre

The Virtual as the Digital

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 453 - 486

Résumé

Abstract

I reply to seven commentaries on “The Virtual and the Real”. In response to Claus Beisbart, Jesper Juul, Peter Ludlow, and Neil McDonnell and Nathan Wildman, I clarify and develop my view that virtual are digital objects, with special attention to the nature of digital objects and data structures. In response to Alyssa Ney and Eric Schwitzgebel, I clarify and defend my spatial functionalism, with special attention to the connections between space and consciousness. In response to Marc Silcox, I clarify and develop my view of the value of virtual worlds, with special attention to the case where we experience these worlds as virtual.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • digital objects
  • spatial functionalism
  • transcendental idealism
9 Articles

You can read the target article (Chalmers 2017, “The Virtual and the Real”) under discussion in this Special Issue here: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0009

access type Accès libre

SI: Chalmers on Virtual Reality Introduction

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 291 - 296

Résumé

Abstract

In June 2016, David Chalmers delivered the Petrus Hispanus Lectures at the LanCog research group, University of Lisbon, on the subject of objects, properties, and perception in virtual reality environments. The paper resulting from these lectures was subsequently published in Disputatio as “The Virtual and the Real” (vol. IX, 2017, No. 46, pp. 309–52). In it, Chalmers defends virtual realism, according to which virtual objects are bona fide digital objects with virtual counterparts of perceptible properties such as colour and shape, and perception in virtual reality environments is typically veridical rather than illusory. This special issue collects responses to Chalmers due to Claus Beisbart, Jesper Juul, Peter Ludlow, Neil McDonnell and Nathan Wildman, Alyssa Ney, Eric Schwitzgebel, and Marc Silcox; together with a detailed response by Chalmers to each paper.

You can read the target article (Chalmers 2017, “The Virtual and the Real”) under discussion in this Special Issue here: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0009

Mots clés

  • David Chalmers
  • virtual reality
  • virtual realism
  • digital objects
  • perception
access type Accès libre

Virtual Realism: Really Realism or only Virtually so? A Comment on D. J. Chalmers’s Petrus Hispanus Lectures

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 297 - 331

Résumé

Abstract

What is the status of a cat in a virtual reality environment? Is it a real object? Or part of a fiction? Virtual realism, as defended by D. J. Chalmers, takes it to be a virtual object that really exists, that has properties and is involved in real events. His preferred specification of virtual realism identifies the cat with a digital object. The project of this paper is to use a comparison between virtual reality environments and scientific computer simulations to critically engage with Chalmers’s position. I first argue that, if it is sound, his virtual realism should also be applied to objects that figure in scientific computer simulations, e.g. to simulated galaxies. This leads to a slippery slope because it implies an unreasonable proliferation of digital objects. A philosophical analysis of scientific computer simulations suggests an alternative picture: The cat and the galaxies are parts of fictional models for which the computer provides model descriptions. This result motivates a deeper analysis of the way in which Chalmers builds up his realism. I argue that he buys realism too cheap. For instance, he does not really specify what virtual objects are supposed to be. As a result, rhetoric aside, his virtual realism isn’t far from a sort of fictionalism.

Mots clés

  • Computer simulation
  • model
  • fictional model
  • ontology
  • fictionalism
access type Accès libre

Virtual Reality: Fictional all the Way Down (and that’s OK)

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 333 - 343

Résumé

Abstract

Are virtual objects real? I will claim that the question sets us up for the wrong type of conclusion: Chalmers (2017) argues that a virtual calculator (like other entities) is a real calculator when it is “organizationally invariant” with its non-virtual counterpart—when it performs calculation. However, virtual reality and games are defined by the fact that they always selectively implement their source material. Even the most detailed virtual car will still have an infinite range of details which are missing (gas, engines, pistons, fuel, chemical reactions, molecules, atoms). This means that even the most detailed virtual object will still have fictional aspects. Rather than argue that virtual objects are, or aren’t, real, it is preferable to think of overlaps and continuities between the fictional and the real, where even the most painstakingly detailed virtual reality implementation of a non-virtual object is still art: a human process of selection and interpretation. Virtual reality should therefore not be philosophically understood just as a technological implementation on a trajectory to perfection, but as a cultural artifact which derives its value in part from its simplification and difference from its source material.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • games
  • fiction
  • art
access type Accès libre

The Social Furniture of Virtual Worlds

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 345 - 369

Résumé

Abstract

David Chalmers argues that virtual objects exist in the form of data structures that have causal powers. I argue that there is a large class of virtual objects that are social objects and that do not depend upon data structures for their existence. I also argue that data structures are themselves fundamentally social objects. Thus, virtual objects are fundamentally social objects.

Mots clés

  • Virtual worlds
  • computation
  • data structures
  • social objects
  • virtual objects
access type Accès libre

Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 371 - 397

Résumé

Abstract

Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers (2017), and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce a Waltonian variety of ictionalism about the virtual, arguing that this sort of irrealist approach avoids the problems of the realist positions, fits with a unifying theory of representational works, and offers a better account of the phenomenology of engaging in virtual experiences.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • realism
  • irrealism
  • fictionalism
  • Ken Walton
access type Accès libre

On Phenomenal Functionalism about the Properties of Virtual and Non-virtual Objects

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 399 - 410

Résumé

Abstract

According to phenomenal functionalism, whether some object or event has a given property is determined by the kinds of sensory experiences such objects or events typically cause in normal perceivers in normal viewing conditions. This paper challenges this position and, more specifically, David Chalmers’s use of it in arguing for what he calls virtual realism.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • virtual objects
  • phenomenal functionalism
  • secondary qualities
access type Accès libre

Kant Meets Cyberpunk

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 411 - 435

Résumé

Abstract

I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian (or Kant*-ian) transcendental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are artificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very different than we suppose. Indeed, since computation does not require spatial properties, spatiality might not be a feature of things as they are in themselves but instead only the way that things necessarily appear to us. It might seem unlikely that we are living in a virtual reality instantiated on a non-spatial computer. However, understanding this possibility can help us appreciate the merits of transcendental idealism in general, as well as transcendental idealism’s underappreciated skeptical consequences.

Mots clés

  • Materialism
  • space
  • structuralism
  • artificial intelligence
  • computation
access type Accès libre

The Transition into Virtual Reality

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 437 - 451

Résumé

Abstract

In “The Virtual and the Real,” David Chalmers argues that there is an epistemic and ontological parity between VR and ordinary reality. My argument here is that, whatever the plausibility of these claims, they provide no basis for supposing that there is a similar parity of value. Careful reflection upon certain aspects of the transition that individuals make from interacting with real-world, physical environments to interacting with VR provides a basis for thinking that, to the extent that there are good reasons to deny the reality of virtual objects, there are also reasons to place a correspondingly higher value upon the experience of interacting with a VR environment. Chalmers’ assumption to the contrary arises from a subtle misrepresentation of how the phenomenon of cognitive penetration works in the perception of virtual objects, and from an unwillingness to acknowledge how our attitudes toward virtual environments are conditioned by the values we adopt when engaged in gameplay.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • David Chalmers
  • games
  • cognitive penetration
  • experience machine
access type Accès libre

The Virtual as the Digital

Publié en ligne: 08 Jun 2020
Pages: 453 - 486

Résumé

Abstract

I reply to seven commentaries on “The Virtual and the Real”. In response to Claus Beisbart, Jesper Juul, Peter Ludlow, and Neil McDonnell and Nathan Wildman, I clarify and develop my view that virtual are digital objects, with special attention to the nature of digital objects and data structures. In response to Alyssa Ney and Eric Schwitzgebel, I clarify and defend my spatial functionalism, with special attention to the connections between space and consciousness. In response to Marc Silcox, I clarify and develop my view of the value of virtual worlds, with special attention to the case where we experience these worlds as virtual.

Mots clés

  • Virtual reality
  • digital objects
  • spatial functionalism
  • transcendental idealism

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