The Matrix as Metaphysics
Chalmers (David)
Source: Grau - Philosophers Explore "The Matrix", 2005
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

    This paper was written for the “philosophy section” of the official Matrix website. It also appears in "Grau (Christopher) - Philosophers Explore 'The Matrix'". As such, the bulk of the paper is written to be accessible for an audience without a background in philosophy. At the same time, this paper is intended as a serious work of philosophy, with relevance for central issues in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind and language. A section of “philosophical notes” at the end of the article draws out some of these connections explicitly.
  1. Brains in Vats1
  2. Envatment Reconsidered
  3. The Metaphysical Hypothesis
    1. The Creation Hypothesis
    2. The Computational Hypothesis
    3. The Mind-Body Hypothesis
    4. The Metaphysical Hypothesis
  4. The Matrix Hypothesis as a Metaphysical Hypothesis
  5. Life in the Matrix
  6. Objection: Simulation is not Reality
  7. Other Objections
  8. Other Skeptical Hypothesis
    • New Matrix Hypothesis
    • Recent Matrix Hypothesis
    • Local Matrix Hypothesis
    • Extendible Local Matrix Hypothesis
    • Macroscopic Matrix Hypothesis
    • God Hypothesis
    • Evil Genius Hypothesis
    • Dream Hypothesis
    • Chaos Hypothesis
  9. Philosophical Notes

  1. I’ve now forgotten the details of what Chalmers’ line is, but if memory serves it is that it’s false to think of brains in vats2 as massively deceived as to reality. For them, reality is as reality seems; something to do with how words acquire meaning, maybe.
  2. For the full paper, see Link.


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