A Semantics for Virtual Environments and the Ontological Status of Virtual Objects

Authors
David Leech Anderson
Illinois State University
Abstract
Virtual environments engage millions of people and billions of dollars each year. What is the ontological status of the virtual objects that populate those environments? An adequate answer to that question requires a developed semantics for virtual environments. The truth-conditions must be identified for “tree”-sentences when uttered by speakers immersed in a virtual environment (VE). It will be argued that statements about virtual objects have truth-conditions roughly comparable to the verificationist conditions popular amongst some contemporary antirealists. This does not mean that the virtual objects lack ontological standing. There is an important sense in which virtual objects are no less real for being mind-dependent.
Keywords semantics  virtual semantics  virtual objects  antirealism  verificationism
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