Sunday, September 2, 2012

Philosophy Lunch Chat (9/6/12): Are You in a Computer Simulation?

Might we be living in a computer simulation? Unlike the humans' "envatted" predicament portrayed in The Matrix, might we in fact be simulations — computer programs with consciousness? Oxford philosopher and futurist Nick Bostrom has offered an argument — "The Simulation Argument" — that suggest that this might in fact be quite likely! "Whoa...."

Given that we'll be screening The Matrix on Tuesday, I thought we could start Philosophy Lunch Chats this term by considering this even more radical possibility. Bostrom has assembled quite a lot of different presentations of this idea — see, e.g., this whole website (!) complete with many links to papers and more popular outlets — or better yet, just have a listen to this discussion on the Philosophy Bites podcast and stop by the Philosophy Lounge (Coleman 62) at noon on Thursday.

About Philosophy Lunch Chats
(Nearly) Every Thursday from noon to 1PM during the term, interested faculty, staff, students, and community members get together to chat about some philosophical topic over pizza in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There's nothing to sign up for, and you won't get a grade, ever. Feel free to be a regular or show up just once. For more information about Philosophy Lunch Chats or to offer suggestions for future chats (warmly welcomed), contact Professor Matthew Slater <>.