Against Brain-in-a-Vatism: On the Value of Virtual Reality

  title={Against Brain-in-a-Vatism: On the Value of Virtual Reality},
  author={Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox},
  journal={Philosophy \& Technology},
The term “virtual reality” was first coined by Antonin Artaud to describe a value-adding characteristic of certain types of theatrical performances. The expression has more recently come to refer to a broad range of incipient digital technologies that many current philosophers regard as a serious threat to human autonomy and well-being. Their concerns, which are formulated most succinctly in “brain in a vat”-type thought experiments and in Robert Nozick's famous “experience machine” argument… 
The Transition into Virtual Reality
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
Simulation, self-extinction, and philosophy in the service of human civilization
It is argued that simulations afford a unique potential to secure a post-human future, and may be necessary for a pre-post-human civilization like the authors' own to achieve and to maintain aPost-human situation.
Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?
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
Phenomenological Alternatives of the Lifeworld: Between Multiple Realities and Virtual Realities
The concept of “lifeworld” is of high importance in the phenomenological context as well as in the comprehensive sociological theory, continuing to animate contemporary debates. Given the recent
How to (dis)solve the Gamer’s Dilemma
The Gamer’s Dilemma challenges us to find a distinction between virtual murder and virtual pedophilia. Without such a distinction, we are forced to conclude that either both actions are morally
Causation in a Virtual World: a Mechanistic Approach
Objects appear to causally interact with one another in virtual worlds, such as video games, virtual reality, and training simulations. Is this causation real or is it illusory? In this paper I argue
What it’s like to be a _____: why it’s (often) unethical to use VR as an empathy nudging tool
It is argued that VR simulations aiming to enhance empathic understanding of others via perspective-taking will almost always be unethical to develop or deploy, and VR designers are proposed to shift from designing simulations aimed at producing empathic perspective- taking to designs aimed at generating sympathy for their targets.
Foundational theory: A New conceptualization of relevant ideas
This chapter examines the changes in three of the more fundamental concepts of online education by examining the shifts in ‘mind’, ‘self’ and ‘others’ by outlining a framework based on a ‘discontinuous’ theory of the latter notions.
The Virtual and the Real
Abstract I argue that virtual reality is a sort of genuine reality. In particular, I argue for virtual digitalism, on which virtual objects are real digital objects, and against virtual fictionalism,
The Virtual and the Real 1
I argue that virtual reality is a sort of genuine reality. In particular, I argue for virtual digitalism, on which virtual objects are real digital objects, and against virtual fictionalism, on which


Surviving the Age of Virtual Reality
As the technological phenomenon known as the worldwide web permeates civilization, it creates some cultures and destroys others. In this pioneering book, philosopher Thomas Langan explores "virtual
Heidegger and Virtual Reality: The Implications of Heidegger’s Thinking for Computer Representations
This author addresses the assumptions that underlie most research into virtual reality (VR) and other interactive computer systems. These assumptions relate to tensions between views of perception as
The matrix and philosophy : welcome to the desert of the real
Is the world around us truly as it appears or are we inert bodies in tanks, our brains subjected to electronic stimulation creating a make-believe world of hallucination? The Keanu Reeves cult sci-fi
The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences
Thought experiments are performed in the laboratory of the mind. Beyond this metaphor it is difficult to say just what these remarkable devices for investigating nature are or how they work. Though
Action in Perception
  • A. Noë
  • Philosophy, Art
    Representation and Mind
  • 2006
Alva Noe argues that perception and perceptual consciousness depend on capacities for action and thought -- that perception is a kind of thoughtful activity and the problems posed by spatial content and the experience of color are examined.
Minds, Brains, and Programs
  • J. Searle
  • Philosophy
    The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
  • 1990
Only a machine could think, and only very special kinds of machines, namely brains and machines with internal causal powers equivalent to those of brains, and no program by itself is sufficient for thinking.
On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense
Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the
Virtual Realism
From the Publisher: In this wide-ranging exploration, Michael Heim draws on an incredibly eclectic range of sources, from the lyrics of Jim Morrison, to the wisdom of the Tai Chi masters, to the
The Experience Machine
What matters other than how people's experiences feel "from the inside"? Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience that you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists