Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 20 September 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the relation between virtuality and reality, and in particular, the extent to which virtual objects, actions, and events can be claimed to have real-world existence. This investigation is part of philosophical ontology, which is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, and reality. The chapter draws a distinction between physical and social reality, and argues that while most physical entities can only be simulated in virtual environments, social entities, like money, property, and insults, can under appropriate circumstances qualify as real beyond the computer simulation. It is investigated in which precise ways virtual entities can qualify as real or fail to be real, and how virtual entities may succeed in blurring the distinction between reality and fiction. The resulting analysis is argued to have serious implications for the role of virtuality in society.

Keywords: ontology, existence, physical reality, social reality

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.