Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?

Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255 (2003)
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Abstract

I argue that at least one of the following propositions is true: the human species is very likely to become extinct before reaching a ’posthuman’ stage; any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history ; we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we shall one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. I discuss some consequences of this result.

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Nick Bostrom
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem.David Chalmers - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. New York: Routledge. pp. 353-373.
The matrix as metaphysics.David J. Chalmers - 2005 - In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press. pp. 132.
Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.Vincent C. Müller - 2020 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Palo Alto, Cal.: CSLI, Stanford University. pp. 1-70.
The Mathematical Universe.Max Tegmark - 2007 - Foundations of Physics 38 (2):101-150.

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References found in this work

How long before superintelligence?Nick Bostrom - 1998 - International Journal of Futures Studies 2.
Is the end of the world nigh?John Leslie - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):65-72.
How to live in a simulation.Robin Hanson - 2001 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 7 (1).

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