Analysis (forthcoming)

Nathan Wildman
Tilburg University
Neil McDonnell
University of Glasgow
How can you steal something that doesn’t exist? This question confronts those of us who take an irrealist view of virtual objects and agree with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands that robbery took place when two boys used non-virtual violence to coerce a third boy into relinquishing his virtual amulet and mask. Here we outline this Puzzle of Virtual Theft, along with the closely related Puzzle of Virtual Value. After demonstrating how these puzzles are deeply problematic for the irrealist, we go on to sketch a solution that not only circumscribes the puzzles but also offers a framework by which legal scholars can make sense within existing legal codes of the new phenomenon of virtual theft.
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anaa005
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References found in this work BETA

The Virtual and the Real.David J. Chalmers - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):309-352.
Walton on Fictionality.Richard Woodward - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (12):825-836.
Representation and Make-Believe.Alan H. Goldman - 1990 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 36 (3):335 – 350.

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