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EPISODE # 255

David Chalmers — Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

Shermer speaks with University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science and codirector of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness at New York University, Dr. David Chalmers, to discuss: the hard problem of consciousness; virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence; VR inside a VR, indistinguishable from Reality; Are we living in a simulation?; Can you live a good life in VR?; Can AI systems be conscious? and more…

How do we know that there’s an external world? What is the nature of reality? What’s the relation between mind and body? Virtual reality is genuine reality; that’s the central thesis of David Chalmers’ book: Reality+ — a highly original work of “technophilosophy” in which Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that virtual worlds are not second-class worlds, and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. He uses virtual reality technology to offer a new perspective on long-established philosophical questions. We may even be in a virtual world already.

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