We argue that moral judgment studies currently conducted utilizing virtual reality (VR) devices must confront a dilemma due to how virtual environments are designed and how those environments are experienced. We begin by first describing the contexts present in paradigmatic cases of naturalistic moral judgments. We then compare these contexts to current traditional (vignette-based) and VR-based moral judgment research. We show that, contra to paradigmatic cases, vignette-based and VR-based moral judgment research often fails to accurately model the situational features (...) of paradigmatic moral judgments. In particular, we compare and contrast six recent VR studies to support our view that only simulations high in context-realism and perspectival-fidelity can produce ‘virtually real experiences.’ After analyzing the constituents of a virtually-real experience, we go on to propose guidelines for the creation of VR studies. These guidelines serve two purposes. First, we aim to increase the ecological validity of such studies in order to advance our understanding of moral judgments. Second, we believe that such guidelines should inform how Institutional Review Boards assess VR research. We show that our guidelines are urgently needed given the current lax review standards in place. (shrink)
This book chapter shows how the early Heidegger’s philosophy around the period of Being and Time can address some central questions of contemporary social ontology. After sketching “non-summative constructionism”, which is arguably the generic framework that underlies all forms of contemporary analytic social ontology, I lay out early Heidegger’s conception of human social reality in terms of an extended argument. The Heidegger that shows up in light of this treatment is an acute phenomenologist of human social existence who emphasizes (...) our engagement in norm-governed practices as the basis of social reality. I then defuse a common and understandable set of objections against invoking the early Heidegger as someone who can make any positive contribution to our understanding of social reality. Lastly, I explore the extent to which the early Heidegger’s philosophy provides insights regarding phenomena of collective intentionality by showing how the intelligibility of such phenomena traces back to individual agents’ common understanding of possible ways of understanding things and acting with one another. With the early Heidegger, I argue that this common understanding is the fundamental source and basis of collective intentionality, not the non-summativist constructionism on which contemporary analytic social ontology has sought to focus with much effort. The lesson about social ontology that we should learn from the early Heidegger is that there is a tight connection between the social constitution of the human individual and his or her capacity to perform actions or activities that instantiate collective intentionality. (shrink)
Professor Hilary Putnam has been one of the most influential and sharply original of recent American philosophers in a whole range of fields. His most important published work is collected here, together with several new and substantial studies, in two volumes. The first deals with the philosophy of mathematics and of science and the nature of philosophical and scientific enquiry; the second deals with the philosophy of language and mind. Volume one is now issued in a new edition, including an (...) essay on the philosophy of logic first published in 1971. (shrink)
We understand interpersonal reality as consisting of those social facts that are informally created by people for themselves in everyday interactions, and involve the collective acceptance of positive and negative deontic powers. We submit that, in the case of interpersonal reality, Gilbert’s concept of a joint commitment is a suitable view of what collective acceptance amounts to. We then argue that creating interpersonal reality, even in common everyday-life situations, typically requires conversational exchanges involving several layers of joint (...) commitments, and in particular joint commitments to projects, joint meaning, and the joint commitments that are constitutive of conversations. (shrink)
A virtual reality module that incorporates a training room (for subjects to become accommodated to virtual environments) and VR translations of Philippa Foot's Trolley Problem and Judith Thomson's Violinist thought experiment. -/- These modules are free to use for classroom or research/x-phi purposes. This set of modules is optimized for the HTC Vive. If you have an Oculus Rift, please see our VR modules optimized for the rift. -/- *Requires an HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To access the (...) simulation, uncompress the .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file. (shrink)
Value, Reality, and Desire is an extended argument for a robust realism about value. The robust realist affirms the following distinctive theses. There are genuine claims about value which are true or false--there are facts about value. These value-facts are mind-independent - they are not reducible to desires or other mental states, or indeed to any non-mental facts of a non-evaluative kind. And these genuine, mind-independent, irreducible value-facts are causally efficacious. Values, quite literally, affect us. These are not particularly (...) fashionable theses, and taken as a whole they go somewhat against the grain of quite a lot of recent work in the metaphysics of value. Further, against the received view, Oddie argues that we can have knowledge of values by experiential acquaintance, that there are experiences of value which can be both veridical and appropriately responsive to the values themselves. Finally, these value-experiences are not the products of some exotic and implausible faculty of "intuition." Rather, they are perfectly mundane and familiar mental states - namely, desires. This view explains how values can be "intrinsically motivating," without falling foul of the widely accepted "queerness" objection. There are, of course, other objections to each of the realist's claims. In showing how and why these objections fail, Oddie introduces a wealth of interesting and original insights about issues of wider interest--including the nature of properties, reduction, supervenience, and causation. The result is a novel and interesting account which illuminates what would otherwise be deeply puzzling features of value and desire and the connections between them. (shrink)
We say "the grass is green" or "lemons are yellow" to state what everyone knows. But are the things we see around us really colored, or do they only look that way because of the effects of light rays on our eyes and brains? Is color somehow "unreal" or "subjective" and dependent on our human perceptions and the conditions under which we see things? Distinguished scholar Barry Stroud investigates these and related questions in The Quest for Reality. In this (...) long-awaited book, he examines what a person would have to do and believe in order to reach the conclusion that everyone's perceptions and beliefs about the color of things are "illusions" and do not accurately represent the way things are in the world as it is independently of us. Arguing that no such conclusion could be consistently reached, Stroud finds that the conditions of a successful unmasking of color cannot all be fulfilled. The discussion extends beyond color to present a serious challenge to many other philosophical attempts to discover the way things really are. A model of subtle, elegant, and rigorous philosophical writing, this study will attract a wide audience from all areas of philosophy. (shrink)
Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental (...) existence. Recently, Correia and Rosenkranz (2011, 2012) have claimed that Fine’s tripartite map of tense realism is incomplete as it misses a fourth position they call ‘dynamic absolutism’. In this paper, I will argue that dynamic absolutists are committed to the irreducible existence of tensed facts and that, for this reason, they face a similar trilemma concerning the notion of fact-content. I will thus conclude that a generalised version of Fine’s trilemma, concerning both fact-constitution and fact-content, is indeed inescapable. (shrink)
What is truth? -- Varieties of deflationism -- A defense of minimalism -- The value of truth -- A minimalist critique of Tarski -- Kripke's paradox of meaning -- Regularities, rules, meanings, truth conditions, and epistemic norms -- Semantics : what's truth got to do with it? -- The motive power of evaluative concepts -- Ungrounded reason -- The nature of paradox -- A world without 'isms' -- The quest for reality -- Being and truth -- Provenance of chapters.
The traditional disputants in the free will discussion--the libertarian, soft determinist, and hard determinist--agree that free will is a coherent concept, while disagreeing on how the concept might be satisfied and whether it can, in fact, be satisfied. In this innovative analysis, Richard Double offers a bold new argument, rejecting all of the traditional theories and proposing that the concept of free will cannot be satisfied, no matter what the nature of reality. Arguing that there is unavoidable conflict within (...) our understanding of moral responsibility and free choice, Double seeks to prove that when we ascribe responsibility, blame, or freedom, we merely express attitudes, rather than state anything capable of truth or falsity. Free will, he concludes, is essentially an incoherent notion. (shrink)
Metaphysics has done everything to involve God in the world of being. However, in case of considering Reality as being and nothingness, naturally, the metaphysical approach toward the idea of God is losing its grounds. If Reality is being and nothingness, so the idea of God, too, should concern nothingness as well as being.
In this paper, we argue that, under a speciﬁc set of circumstances, designing and employing certain kinds of virtual reality (VR) experiences can be unethical. After a general discussion of simulations and their ethical context, we begin our argu-ment by distinguishing between the experiences generated by diﬀerent media (text, ﬁlm, computer game simulation, and VR simulation), and argue that VR experiences oﬀer an unprecedented degree of what we call “perspectival ﬁdelity” that prior modes of simulation lack. Additionally, we argue (...) that when VR experiences couple this perspectival ﬁdelity with what we call “context realism,” VR experiences have the ability to produce “virtually real experiences.” We claim that virtually real experiences generate ethical issues for VR technologies that are unique to the medium. Because subjects of these experiences treat them as if they were real, a higher degree of ethical scrutiny should be applied to any VR scenario with the potential to generate virtually real experiences. To mitigate this unique moral hazard, we propose and defend what we call “The Equivalence Principle.” This principle states that “if it would be wrong to allow subjects to have a certain experience in reality, then it would be wrong to allow subjects to have that experience in a virtually real setting.” We argue that such a principle, although limited in scope, should be part of the risk analysis conducted by any Institutional Review Boards, psychologists, empirically oriented philosophers, or game designers who are using VR technology in their work. (shrink)
Taken at face value, the picture of reality suggested by modern science seems radically opposed to the world as we perceive it through our senses. Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear scientists and others claim that much of our perceptual experience is a kind of pervasive illusion rather than a faithful presentation of various aspects of reality. On this view, familiar properties such as colours and solidity, to take just two examples, do not belong to external objects, (...) but are fictions generated by the brain that we mistakenly ascribe to the world around us. Contrary to this view, I argue that properties like colour and solidity are as much a part of the fabric of reality as gravity and electrons, and that our scientific and common-sense world views are not as opposed to one another as it might first appear. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for the importance of treating mental experience on its own terms. In defense of “experiential realism” I offer a critique of modern psychology’s all-too-frequent attempts to effect an objectification and quantification of personal subjectivity. The question is “What can we learn about experiential reality from indices that, in the service of scientific objectification, transform the qualitative properties of experience into quantitative indices?” I conclude that such treatment is neither necessary for realizing, nor sufficient for (...) capturing, subjectively given states (such as perception, pain, imagery, fear, thought, memory) – that is, for understanding many of the principle objects of psychological inquiry. A “science of mind” that approaches its subject matter from a third-person perspective should, I contend, be treated with a healthy amount of informed skepticism. (shrink)
Some monothematic types of delusions may arise because subjects have unusual experiences. The role of this experiential component in the pathogenesis of delusion is still not understood. Focussing on delusions of alien control, we outline a model for reality testing competence on unusual experiences. We propose that nascent delusions arise when there are local failures of reality testing performance, and that monothematic delusions arise as normal responses to these. In the course of this we address questions concerning the (...) tenacity with which delusions are maintained, their often bizarre content, the patients' inability to dismiss them, and their often circumscribed character. (shrink)
A virtual reality translation of Philippa Foot's "Trolley Problem" optimized for the HTC Vive. This module is made freely available for teaching and research / x-phi purposes. If you have an Oculus Rift, please search for our modules optimized for the Rift. *Requires an HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To access the simulation, uncompress the .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
This essay is a critical introduction to the second part of the special issue Time and Reality. The volume contains responses to papers appeared in the first part, as well as many original articles. The aim of this introduction is to frame these works within the general arena of the philosophy of time, highlighting a number of recurrent themes. A central theme that emerges is a difficulty in pinning down the ontological structure underlying dynamicity and passage without postulating a (...) primitive notion of transiency that is conceptually independent of the instantiation of tense properties. I argue that this has far-reaching implications. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that arguments from skeptical hypotheses for external world skepticism derive their support from a skeptical argument from the distinction between appearance and reality. This skeptical argument from the appearance/reality distinction gives the external world skeptic her conclusion without appealing to skeptical hypotheses and without assuming that knowledge is closed under known entailments. If this is correct, then this skeptical argument from the appearance/reality distinction poses a new skeptical challenge that cannot be resolved (...) by denying skeptical hypotheses or knowledge closure. (shrink)
A virtual reality translation of Judith Thomson's Violinist Analogy optimized for the HTC Vive. If you have an Oculus Rift, please search for our other VR modules optimized for the Rift. These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. -/- *Requires an HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
This book advocates a radical shift of concern in philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of the sciences, and explores the consequences of such a shift. The historically-oriented first part of the work deals with the ways in which ranges of questions become real and cease to be real for communities of inquirers. The more philosophically-oriented second part of the work introduces the notion of absolute reality of questions, and addresses doubt about the claims of the sciences to have accumulated (...) absolutely real questions. It is argued that recent studies in the sociology and social history of the science pose strong challenges to the sciences by revealing how appeals to authority, vested interests, and rhetorical and aesthetic sensibilities play substantial roles in the practices of the sciences. The final chapter defends the pragmatic stance of the work, and of its companion, The Fortunes of Inquiry, and draws morals about the roles of criticism and reflection in the philosophy of science and in the sciences themselves. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to show that the philosophy of Mihai Şora can both be seen as a phenomenological treatment of being and as a general theory of being in its most rigorous sense. At least, this philosophy could be designated as a phenomenological ontology which opens up itself towards an originally metaphysical perspective based on a specific type of knowledge of the sort of “global disclosure”. I will argue too that within Şora's philosophy one can have a twofold (...) approach: one starts from what we could call the phenomenology of the “common givenness” (“ordinary/ quotidian givenness”) and then proceeds (in a phenomenological manner) to a general theory of being, which is represented in Şora's philosophy by the constitution of the model of the “sphere with the null ray”; the second commences with the treatment of the ontological model as such (the model, which is already formed, represents in the end the symbolic structure of reality), that is, from this “general theory of being” (or of the constitution of being) and then advances step by step towards various (phenomenological) applications of this ontological model to the multifaceted spheres of the domain of being (the sphere of language, of temporality, of ethics, of the social, of politics, etc.). (shrink)
The article explores the idea that according to Spinoza finite thought and substantial thought represent reality in different ways. It challenges “acosmic” readings of Spinoza's metaphysics, put forth by readers like Hegel, according to which only an infinite, undifferentiated substance genuinely exists, and all representations of finite things are illusory. Such representations essentially involve negation with respect to a more general kind. The article shows that several common responses to the charge of acosmism fail. It then argues that we (...) must distinguish the well-founded ideality of representations of finite things from mere illusoriness, insofar as for Spinoza we can have true knowledge of what is known only abstractly. Finite things can be seen as well-founded beings of reason. The article also proposes that within Spinoza's framework it is possible to represent a finite thing without drawing on representations of mind-dependent entities. (shrink)
Reality contains information that becomes significances in the mind of the observer. Language is the human instrument to understand reality. But is it possible to attain this reality? Is there an absolute reality, as certain philosophical schools tell us? The reality that we perceive, is it just a fragmented reality of which we are part? The work that the authors present is an attempt to address this question from an epistemological, linguistic and logical-mathematical point (...) of view. (shrink)
According to what I will call the “appearance-is-reality doctrine of mind,” conscious mental states are identical to how they subjectively appear or present themselves to us in our experience of them. The doctrine has had a number of supporters but to date has not received from its proponents the comprehensive and systematic treatment that might be expected. In this paper I outline the key features of the appearance-is-reality doctrine along with the case for thinking that doctrine to be (...) true. I also defend the doctrine from some objections. Finally, I spell out the important metaphysical and epistemological implications of the appearance-is-reality doctrine of mind. (shrink)
One of the trademarks of Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology is his theory of levels of reality. Hartmann drew from many sources to develop his version of the theory. His essay “Die Anfänge des Schichtungsgedankens in der alten Philosophie” testifies of the fact that he drew from Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. But this text was written relatively late in Hartmann’s career, which suggests that his interest in the theories of levels of the ancients may have been retrospective. In “Nicolai Hartmann und (...) seine Zeitgenossen,” Martin Morgenstern puts the emphasis on contemporaries of Hartmann: Émile Boutroux, Max Scheler, Heinrich Rickert, Karl Jaspers, and Arnold Gehlen. But there is another plausible source for Hartmann’s conception of levels that has so far remained overlooked in the literature. Hartmann studied with and was influenced by Nikolai Lossky. Lossky has a theory of levels that he adopted from Vladimir Solovyov. Solovyov presents his theory of levels, among other places, in Oпpaвдaнie дoбpa, where he says that the five principal stages of the cosmogonic process of ascension toward universal perfection, which are given in experience, are the mineral or inorganic realm, the vegetal realm, the animal realm, the realm of natural humanity, and the realm of spiritual or divine humanity. This theory appears to bear significant similarities with the theory of levels of reality that Hartmann will develop a few decades later. Solovyov was widely read in Russia and it would be unlikely that Hartmann was not at least minimally acquainted with his work. Chances are that Hartmann came into contact with it in some details. An intellectual lineage could thus likely be traced from Hartmann back to Solovyov. In this paper, I document and discuss this possible lineage. (shrink)
Practical Reality is a lucid original study of the relation between the reasons why we do things and the reasons why we should. Jonathan Dancy maintains that current philosophical orthodoxy bowdlerizes this relation, making it impossible to understand how anyone can act for a good reason. By giving a fresh account of values and reasons, he finds a place for normativity in philosophy of mind and action, and strengthens the connection between these areas and ethics.
We investigate the nature of the sense of presence that usually accompanies perceptual experience. We show that the notion of a sense of presence can be interpreted in two ways, corresponding to the sense that we are acquainted with an object, and the sense that the object is real. In this essay, we focus on the sense of reality. Drawing on several case studies such as derealization disorder, Parkinson’s disease and virtual reality, we argue that the sense of (...)reality is two-way independent from the spatial and sensory contents of experience. We suggest that the sense of reality is an affective experience akin to a metacognitive feeling. Finally, we present a potentially important implication of our account for the current debate between Intentionalism and Naïve Realism. Since perception is “opaque” with respect to the reality of what is perceived, Intentionalism cannot refer to the sense of reality as what differentiates perception from sensory-like experiences such as imaginings. In contrast, Naïve Realism has an independent explanation of the specificity of perception. (shrink)
Social reality is a key problem in the philosophy of social science. Outlining the major historical and contemporary issues raised by the social reality and social facts, this book has something to offer both philosophers and social scientists. To the former is shows how the well-worn topic of realism versus anti-realism assumes new and interestingly varied forms when social reality is substituted for physical reality. For the social scientist, the book offers conceptual clarification of key issues (...) in recent social science which are really philosophical issues. (shrink)
The reluctant revolutionary -- The patent slave -- The golden Dane -- The quantum atom -- When Einstein met Bohr -- The prince of duality -- Spin doctors -- The quantum magician -- A late erotic outburst -- Uncertainty in Copenhagen -- Solvay 1927 -- Einstein forgets relativity -- Quantum reality -- For whom Bell's theorem tolls -- The quantum demon.
Mind, Meaning, and Reality presents fifteen philosophical papers in which D. H. Mellor explores some of the most intriguing questions in philosophy. These include: what determines what we think, and what we use language to mean; how that depends on what there is in the world and why there is only one universe; and the nature of time.
It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by (...) people's varying confidence about their pain, and indicates that 'feeling pain' can be identified as introspective report and 'having pain' as an objective statement — analogous to the traditional sense modalities. However, if people have the ability to make both introspective and objective statements about pain, then it seems indeed the case that they distinguish the appearance from the reality of pain. (shrink)
Time as the key to a theory of everything became recently a renewed topic in scientific literature. Social constructivism applied to physics abandons the inevitable essentials of nature. It adopts uncertainty in the scope of the existential activity of scientific research. We have enlightened the deep role of social constructivism of the predetermined Newtonian time and space notions in natural sciences. Despite its incompatibility with determinism governing the Newtonian mechanics, randomness and entropy are inevitable when negative localized energy is transformed (...) into spatially dissipative heat. In sharp contrast to the Newtonian notion, social constructivism makes room for the temporal twin of cyclic conservation and pseudo-linearly structural evolution both reconciling mechanical order and thermodynamic chaos in Leibnizian space-time. In the broad scope of natural sciences this triad nature of time produces a multiple reality and gives appropriate answers on virtual physical paradoxes. (shrink)
Two experiments investigated the reality attributed to hypnotic suggestion through subtle projection of a visual image during simultaneous suggestion for a visual hallucination that resembled the projected image. In Experiment 1, high and low hypnotizable participants were administered either a hypnotic induction or wake instructions, given a suggestion to hallucinate a shape, and then the projected image was subsequently introduced. Although highs in both conditions rated the projected image more vividly than lows, highs in the hypnosis condition made comparable (...)reality ratings when the projected image was absent and present. In Experiment 2, high hypnotizable participants were administered a suggestion to see a shape on a wall. For half the participants the suggested image was projected on the wall and then removed, and for half the projection was initially absent and then introduced. Participants who had the projection absent and then present reported comparable reality and vividness ratings when the projection was absent and present. These findings indicate that elevated hypnotizability and hypnosis are associated with attributions of external reality to suggested experiences. (shrink)
In The Construction of Social Reality, John Searle expends an argument left undeveloped in Speech Acts about the nature of the rules which underlie and constitute social life. It is argued in this review that one problem for this account was its apparent incompatibility with connectionism. They cannot be rules shared in the head, so to speak. He now understands our relation to these rules not as one of simple internalization but of skillful accustoming. But this makes appeal to (...) rules unnecessary and makes noncollective solutions appealing to overt beliefs rather than tacit rules more plausible. (shrink)
The term “virtual reality” was first coined by Antonin Artaud to describe a value-adding characteristic of certain types of theatrical performances. The expression has more recently come to refer to a broad range of incipient digital technologies that many current philosophers regard as a serious threat to human autonomy and well-being. Their concerns, which are formulated most succinctly in “brain in a vat”-type thought experiments and in Robert Nozick's famous “experience machine” argument, reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the way (...) that such technologies would probably have to work. They also considerably underestimate the positive contributions that virtual reality technologies could make to the growth of human knowledge. Here, we examine and critique Nozick's claim that no reasonable person would want to plug into his hypothetical experience machine in light of a broadly enactivist understanding of how future VR technologies might be expected to function. We then sketch out a tentative theory of the phenomenon of truth in fiction, in order to characterize some of the distinct epistemic opportunities that VR technologies promise to provide. (shrink)
There is no reasonable sense in which beliefs can correspond to reality. Correspondence would seem to require some function that maps beliefs onto states of the world. Such a mapping must satisfy certain conditions, the most important of which is that it be an isomorphism—that is, there will be certain relations among beliefs that must be mapped into corresponding relations among world-states. But for any mapping that satisfies these conditions and any belief B, where B is mapped into world-state (...) W, one can construct another mapping that satisfies the conditions but that maps B into a different world-state W*. The view that beliefs correspond to reality assumes that we have some direct awareness of both beliefs and world states that will make us aware of certain “natural” ways in which beliefs correspond to world states. We could then reject those mappings that, while they satisfy the conditions, are not “natural.” But we cannot have this direct awareness, and without such an awareness we can not specify a reasonable sense in which there could be a “natural” mapping between beliefs and reality. A similar, more limited, argument by Bishop Berkeley is examined. (shrink)
One way to think logically about virtual reality systems is to think of them as interactive depictions of possible worlds. Leibniz's "Palace of the Fates" is probably the earliest description of an interactive virtual reality system. Leibniz describes a system for the simulation of possible worlds by a human user in the actual world. He describes a user-interface for interacting multiple possible worlds and their histories.
We approach the virtual reality phenomenon by studying its relationship to set theory. This approach offers a characterization of virtual reality in set theoretic terms, and we investigate the case where this is done using the wellfoundedness property. Our hypothesis is that non-wellfounded sets (so-called hypersets) give rise to a different quality of virtual reality than do familiar wellfounded sets. To elaborate this hypothesis, we describe virtual reality through Sommerhoff’s categories of first- and second-order self-awareness; introduced (...) as necessary conditions for consciousness in terms of higher cognitive functions. We then propose a representation of first- and second-order self-awareness through sets, and assume that these sets, which we call events, originally form a collection of wellfounded sets. Strong virtual reality characterizes virtual reality environments which have the limited capacity to create only events associated with wellfounded sets. In contrast, the logically weaker and more general concept of weak virtual reality characterizes collections of virtual reality mediated events altogether forming an entirety larger than any collection of wellfounded sets. By giving reference to Aczel’s hyperset theory we indicate that this definition is not empty because hypersets encompass wellfounded sets already. Moreover, we argue that weak virtual reality could be realized in human history through continued progress in computer technology. Finally, within a more general framework, we use Baltag’s structural theory of sets (STS) to show that within this hyperset theory Sommerhoff’s first- and second-order self-awareness as well as both concepts of virtual reality admit a consistent mathematical representation. To illustrate our ideas, several examples and heuristic arguments are discussed. (shrink)
In an earlier paper written in loving memory of Asher Peres, we gave a critical analysis of the celebrated 1935 paper in which Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR) challenged the completeness of quantum mechanics. There, we had pointed out logical shortcomings in the EPR paper. Now, we raise additional questions concerning their suggested program to find a theory that would “provide a complete description of the physical reality”. In particular, we investigate the extent to which the EPR argumentation could (...) have lead to the more dramatic conclusion that quantum mechanics is in fact incorrect. With this in mind, we propose a speculation, made necessary by a logical shortcoming in the EPR paper caused by the lack of a necessary condition for “elements of reality”, and surmise that an eventually complete theory would either be inconsistent with quantum mechanics, or would at least violate Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. (shrink)
This is a follow-up article toPhilip Brey's ``The ethics of representation andaction in Virtual Reality'' (published in thisjournal in January 1999). Brey's call for moreanalysis of ethical issues of virtual reality(VR) is continued by further analyzing issuesin a specialized domain of VR – namelymulti-user environments. Several elements ofBrey's article are critiqued in order to givemore context and a framework for discussion.Issues surrounding representations ofcharacters in multi-user virtual realities aresurveyed in order to focus attention on theimportance of additional discussion (...) andanalysis of specialized aspects of VR. (shrink)
A reality may be defined incompletely as a perpetuating pattern of relations. This definition denies the name of reality to an utter and totalistic patternlessness, like a primal patternless stuff, because a patternless all-ness would be indistinguishable from a patternless nothingness. If reality began from a chaos or patternless stuff, it became a reality only when it became patterned. If there are orders of reality with perpetuating relations between them, as in Cartesian interactive substance dualism, (...) the definition allows us to say that these orders belong to a common reality by virtue of those relations. However, the definition is silent on the question of whether reality is ultimately pluralistic. Some suggestions are made about the possibility of stuffless patterns, including those of the physical world, but the definition is not dependent on the possibility of stufflessness. (shrink)
Man has built tools to extend his visual experience in order to explore reality beyond his sensory capacity, for example microscopes, telescopes, high shutter speed and infrared cameras. However he has yet to build a tool to fully explore visual realms beyond his ordinary cognitive faculties. With the development of computing, comes the possibility of building a tool to explore the virtual forms/spaces of images that are ordinarily inaccessible to the mind. This article identifies how cognition is ordinarily limited (...) and posits a way of going beyond those limits, by defining a computational model of how those virtual forms/spaces might be created. This definition is based on brief but repeated empirical experiences of ‘higher order’ manifestations. (shrink)
The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it an adequate concept of joint properties. A sharp or unsharp property manifests itself as an element of sharp or unsharp reality by its tendency to become actual or to actualize a specific measurement outcome. This actualization (...) tendency—or potentiality—of a property is quantified by the associated quantum probability. The resulting single-case interpretation of probability as a degree of reality will be explained in detail and its role in addressing the tensions between quantum and classical accounts of the physical world will be elucidated. It will be shown that potentiality can be viewed as a causal agency that evolves in a well-defined way. (shrink)
Can humans acquire knowledge of ultimate reality, even significant or comprehensive knowledge? I argue that for all we know we can, and that is so whether ultimate reality is divine or non-divine. My strategy involves arguing that we are ignorant, in the sense of lacking public or shared knowledge, about which possibilities, if any, obtain for humans to acquire knowledge of ultimate reality. This follows from a deep feature of our epistemic situation—that our current psychology strongly constrains (...) what we can conceive about the extent to which human intellectual and other psychological capacities might develop in the future. This mean that many possibilities for such development remain open to us epistemically, including the possibility that we might come to understand vastly more about ultimate reality than we currently do, even if ultimate reality is divine. I also argue that there is room to rationally hope that that is so. (shrink)
The notion of reality in the physical world has become, during the last century, somewhat problematic. The contrast between the simple and obvious reality of the innumerable instruments, machines, engines, and gadgets produced by our technological industry, which is applied physics, and of the vague and abstract reality of the fundamental concepts of physical science, as forces and fields, particles and quanta, is doubtlessly bewildering. There has already developed a gap between pure and applied science and between (...) the groups of men devoted to the one or the other activity, a separation that may lead to a dangerous estrangement. Physics needs a unifying philosophy, expressible in ordinary language, to bridge this gulf between "reality" as thought of in practice and in theory. I am not a philosopher but a theoretical physicist. I cannot provide a well balanced philosophy of science that would take due account of the ideas developed by differing schools, but I shall endeavor to formulate some ideas which have helped me in my own struggle with these problems. (shrink)
The thesis is defended that the theories of causation, time and space, and levels of reality are mutually interrelated in such a way that the difficulties internal to theories of causation and to theories of space and time can be understood better, and perhaps dealt with, in the categorial context furnished by the theory of the levels of reality. The structural condition for this development to be possible is that the first two theories be opportunely generalized.