Metaphysics & Virtual Reality

The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace
from The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by Michael Heim
In an exploration the philosophical significance of cyberspace, we need to give an account of the way entities exist within cyberspace and the ontological status of cyberspace–the construct, the phenomenon–itself.

The Essence of VR
from The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by Michael Heim
Exploring a few of the differences that make virtual reality different from traditional art forms. They belong to the essence of VR, its Holy Grail. This goal means that we need a different breed of artist as well.

Plato and Meinong
The Metaphysics Research Lab
Linking the ideas of the Greek philosopher Plato and the 19/20th century Austrian philosopher Alexius Meinong.

MUDs, Metaphysics, and Virtual Reality
by Wesley Cooper, The University of Alberta
In this study of MUDs, Cooper rejects the idea that MUDs are ‘ways of world making’, just as real in their own way as other conceptions of reality, but comes out in favour of the realist view that we live in one world of which, and in which, there are many conceptions.

The Theory of Abstract Objects
The Metaphysics Research Lab
The equations at the top of this page are the two most important principles of the theory of abstract objects. The first principle expresses the existence conditions for abstract objects; the second expresses their identity conditions. In this document, we try to give you some idea of what these principles say.

Virtual Reality and the Dynamics of Transcendence
by Laurie McRobert
Using art as a vehicle that allows us a way to describe a metaphysics digitally through the use of images so that in fact the image sublates the concept.

Colonizing Virtual Reality
by Chris Chesher
New technologies do not appear from nowhere as a mystical spark of inspiration from the mind of one individual. Nor are they inevitably accepted for their self-evident benefits. “Virtual reality’ emerged through a process involving broader cultural, linguistic, institutional and technological contexts.

The New Metaphysics and the Deep Structure of Creativity and Cognition
by Mike King
This paper examines the recent speculative outpourings of contemporary scientists, giving the oeuvre the collective title ‘the new metaphysics’. In considering it as an exploration of the deep structure of human experience, the new metaphysics can be seen to fall into two camps: the reductionist and the anthropic. These have radically different implications for creativity and cognition. The differences in approach are symbolised in this paper by the formulations of Laplace and Longchenpa, respectively representing Western reductionism and Eastern mysticism. It is shown that the future development of the computer will play an important role in the development of the new metaphysics, which may lead to a first-person science.

The Internet as a Metaphor for God?
by Charles Henderson
Just how good is the Internet as a metaphor for God? If the Internet is becoming so heavily weighted with sacred meaning, just what kind of a symbol is it?

Physics, Metaphysics, and the Virtual Reality of Blackbirds
Science Writing Competition, 1999
Looking at the ‘new’ metaphysics, and examining how it is related to science and technology.

What is Virtuality?
by Marc Fonda
Cyberspace is a virtual space. But what does ‘virtual’ mean anyway? The Hypertext Webster site defines virtual as the ability of a thing which has no physical form or presence to still affect people. My desk-bound Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary notes the word’s Latin root, virtus, as referring to strength and virtue. Virtual here refers to the strength of a non-physical thing in light of the fact that such things can affect people deeply. Virtuality is a word used to refer to a thing that is virtual. It is an adjective used to describe the ability of a non-physical (even metaphysical) thing be it a god, a UFO, a book, or the Net. All of these things are real simply because they affect people.

The Ultimate of Reality: Reversible Causality
by Azamat Sh. Abdoullaev
In the search for an ultimate principle by which all real things and relations are ordered, it is argued that the world is the totality of interrelated cyclic processes occurring with all kinds of agents (objects, substances, and things).

Hysteria and Cyberspace
Interview with Slavoj Zizek
Within a psychoanalytical theory of cyberspace, it is claimed that the predominant psychic economy of electronic networks is a hysterical one.

Philosophy of Science or Scientific Philosophy?
by Sailesh Ranjan Bhattacharyya, Sreegopal Banerjee College
Based on the revival of Atomism, the goal is a pursuit of ultimate reality, i.e. an effort to make philosophy scientific.

Net and Imagination I
by Marc Fonda
Language is one response to the human need to express feelings and communicate imaginings. The Net is rapidly achieving the same significance.

Imagination and Net Part II
by Marc Fonda
The connection between the Net and imagination.

Playing the Net
by Marc Fonda
When we let our imaginations play, we enter a different mind-set and we see the world differently – like children, as it were. Play is a form of metacommunication, so that when we are playing we are communicating with one another at a much deeper level than what our spoken words show.

Granting Time Its Passage
by Andrew W. Lamb, University of Notre Dame
A criticism of the strict four-dimensionalist metaphysics of things as a state of a mind having temporal extension or existing as a momentary feature of the dimension of time. It is shown that such a strict four-dimensionalism cannot be correct, since it cannot allow for the passing of time that is essential to awareness.

A Variation on the Dog and His Bone: The Unity of the World in Plotinian Philosophy
Douglas Hadley, Boston Unversity
Do classical, contemplative philosophies have anything to teach which is relevant to life here and now? In the case of Plotinus, yes.

Extra-Causalism and the Unity of Being
Peter Loptson, University of Saskatchewan
An argument against a thesis held widely in contemporary empiricist and naturalist metaphysics, viz., causalism — the view that to be is to be part of the causal structure of the world. Loptson claims that extra-causalism and the unity of being are compatible with a fully naturalist and empiricist view of the world.

Descartes’ Daydream and the Mind-Body Problem
Peter Schuller, Miami University
It is urged here that discontinuous processes are crucial in the universe, in human life, in human thinking. Such ontological events cannot be handled by dualism, materialism or postmodernism. Concentration on such discontinuous processes is urged, an alternative is briefly indicated, and a criterion for ordering levels of human levels of reality is offered.

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