OL#22 Anita Leirfall – On Real and Virtual Space

IAM Open Lecture #22
Anita Leirfall
On Real and Virtual Space
18:00 Tuesday 8 May 2018
IAM Media Lab, Kronesgasse 5/III

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In his article “The Virtual and the Real”, philosopher David Chalmers discusses whether immersive, computer-generated spaces are real or virtual. He argues that virtual space is real in the sense that it serves certain functional purposes. The talk will challenge this “functionalist” understanding of virtual spaces as real by, instead, focusing on our capacity to orient ourselves independently of marks, features and objects in space. It will be argued that we have a mental capacity, or power, that enables us to differentiate between directions in space. This capacity makes it possible for us to relate to spatial directions as real, and not merely virtual, reciprocal relations.

Anita Leirfall is associate professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway. Leirfall’s main research is on Immanuel Kant’s theoretical philosophy with an emphasis on his conception of space. Leirfall teaches courses in philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of law. She is also one of the founders of the research project “The Philosophy of Computer Games”.


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