Review Essay: Odyssey into Post-Reality? Review of Chalmers’ Reality+

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Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy

David J. Chalmers. W. W. Norton & Company, 2022.
ISBN: 978-0393635805, 544 pages, Hardcover, $34.50.

 

The year 2023 is the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Blaise Pascal. In one of the lengthier fragments of his Pensées, he ponders the dramatically contrasting magnitudes we encounter in our cosmos. “The whole visible world is only an imperceptible dot in nature’s ample bosom. . . . Nature is an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”[1] Now look at the other end: the mite with a “minute body” with “minute parts,” including “veins in its legs, blood in the veins, humours in the blood, drops in the humours, vapours in the drops.”[2] Suspended between the “two abysses of infinity and nothingness” is humankind.[3]

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Cite as: Stephen N. Williams, review of Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, by David J. Chalmers, Ethics & Medicine 38, no. 1 (2022): Early Access.

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About the Author

Stephen N. Williams, PhD
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Stephen N. Williams, is Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen's University, Belfast, and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University, and has published in the areas of theology and intellectual history. His most recent book is on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Blaise Pascal: A Thinking Reed: Pascal's Voice, Yesterday and Today (Wipf & Stock, 2023).

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