Kant Meets Cyberpunk

Disputatio (2019)

Eric Schwitzgebel
University of California, Riverside
I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian transcen- dental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are ar- tificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very dif- ferent 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 ap- pear 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 ideal- ism in general, as well as transcendental idealism’s underappreciated skeptical consequences.
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DOI 10.2478/disp-2019-0006
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References found in this work BETA

Constructing the World.David Chalmers - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2010 - Routledge.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 51 (4):692-694.
Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.P. F. Strawson - 1959 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 38 (2):320-323.

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Thinking About Spacetime.David Yates - forthcoming - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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