Is virtual reality merely a video game that consumes and distracts the player immersed in its simulations? Or is it an immaterial world, rich in meaning, beckoning people to a better future world inside computers? In Get Real: A Philosophical Adventure in Virtual Reality, Philip Zhai tackles these questions with keen logical analysis and concludes by advocating a stance that transcends these two opposing view of virtual reality. Zhai argues that the combination of three technologies—digital simulation, sensory immersion, and functional teleoperation—in a well-coordinated manner amounts to a re-creation of the whole empirically perceived universe. His analysis of the nature and significance of this re-creation is eye-opening and completely original. This book will be invaluable to philosophers of science, philosophers of mind and anyone interested in technology's growing impact on our lives and minds. The thought experiments in the book are mind-stretching and enlightenling, and make abstract concepts interesting and tangible.
Philip Zhai has degrees in both philosophy (Ph.D) and engineering (B.S.), and is a professor of philosophy at Muhlenberg College. He is the author of The Radical Choice and Moral Theory (Kluwer).