• Reality+

  • Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy
  • By: David J. Chalmers
  • Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
  • Length: 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Reality+

By: David J. Chalmers
Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
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Publisher's Summary

A leading philosopher takes a mind-bending journey through virtual worlds, illuminating the nature of reality and our place within it.

Virtual reality is genuine reality; that’s the central thesis of Reality+. In a highly original work of “technophilosophy,” David J. Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that virtual worlds are not second-class worlds, and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be in a virtual world already.

Along the way, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of big ideas in philosophy and science. He uses virtual reality technology to offer a new perspective on long-established philosophical questions. How do we know that there’s an external world? Is there a god? What is the nature of reality? What’s the relation between mind and body? How can we lead a good life? All of these questions are illuminated or transformed by Chalmers’ mind-bending analysis.

Reality+ is a major statement that will shape discussion of philosophy, science, and technology for years to come.

  

©2022 by David J. Chalmers. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A book that could have been an email

The idea is neat. It’s probably true. It’s largely trivial and could have been represented in about 200 words. Chalmers then assumes a hostile audience (as an academic philosopher ought to) and carefully makes his case painstakingly. This could have expanded the email to, say, a 20 page term-paper.

He then introduces increasingly unrelated and painfully basic philosophy 101 concepts, somewhat adjacent pop-culture explorations, and uncritically presents other peoples tangentially related ideas without much interaction with his own ideas — stretching a few page idea well past its natural limits into a full sized book the editor no doubt required of him to justify a full sized price tag.

10 people found this helpful

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I’ll say this… we are most likely in a simulation!

I loved the arguments, the philosophy. I appreciate the great lengths he took to make his points. But this book could have been 1/3 the length. I listened to the whole thing carefully, and although the points were varied, the analysis was similar throughout. Consistent, yes, but overkill, definitely.

One thing is for sure though. Reality is… confusing.

9 people found this helpful

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A compelling thesis repeated ad nauseam

Clear and compelling, but the straightforward thesis is reiterated in increasingly fanciful circumstances. Even if the thesis remains accurate, in many of these examples I struggled to care.

7 people found this helpful

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The Virtual World

A very valuable read, the book dives deep in both scientific and philosophical topics are very well explained by the author at times I believe there is too much explanation but you will enjoy it nevertheless I highly recommend this to any scientist or philosophers interested in AR, VR, AI, and the future of the virtual world.

3 people found this helpful

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Thought-provoking and rigorous

This is a challenging, fascinating, and rigorous examination of the nature of reality. It works quite well in audio form, though there are a few places where there are clear references to diagrams or to terms that differ in emphasis but not spelling that don’t quite translate. But that’s small beans for being able to digest these stimulating and important ideas.

Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • EK
  • 05-27-22

Thorough and balanced analysis

This was overall a well-structured analysis with well-reasoned arguments. It was difficult at time to track in audio form as going back to re-read or refer to earlier arguments was difficult. The author does a great job up front helping the reader consider different ways to read the chapters depending on interests.

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Please stop making sense

I was expecting a really interesting discussion. But what I got was an endless stream of statements that sounded like they were from a book of logic, "If x and y are blah blah blah then it can also be said that blah blah blah." I'm sorry, but this is NOT how you write a book. I stuck with it up until Chapter 6 and then I jumped ship. Maybe it got better later on, but I just ran out of patience with it.

1 person found this helpful

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Misread several words?

Did anyone else notice that the narration misread/ mispronounced a handful of words? E.g., swapping “future” for “furniture” in chapter 23?

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Unveiling a Deeper Nature of Reality!

Excellent book! For a sequel or prequel, but definitely a must, read/listen to The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by futurist and evolutionary cyberneticist Alex M. Vikoulov where you'll find many confirmations as well as additional insights and fresh perspectives.

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Great book, but a little heavy with play on words

It was a great book, certainly worth reading.
the only part I struggled with was the large amounts of time thay were used to talk about philosophical play on words and all of their iterations. I would have liked to hear more about anything versus iterating of different hypothesis where the end point could have been made in a few paragraphs instead of using multiple chapters.

Still, it is worth the read, and I would but it again, even if you decide to skip a few chapters.