Kant Meets Cyberpunk

Disputatio 11 (55) (2019)
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Abstract

I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian transcendental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are artificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very different 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 appear 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 idealism in general, as well as transcendental idealism’s underappreciated skeptical consequences.

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Eric Schwitzgebel
University of California, Riverside

Citations of this work

Thinking About Spacetime.David Yates - 2021 - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Virtual as the Digital.David J. Chalmers - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):453-486.
Kant-Bibliographie 2019.Margit Ruffing - 2021 - Kant Studien 112 (4):623-660.

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