Two New Doubts about Simulation Arguments

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):496-508 (2022)
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Abstract

Various theorists contend that we may live in a computer simulation. David Chalmers in turn argues that the simulation hypothesis is a metaphysical hypothesis about the nature of our reality, rather than a sceptical scenario. We use recent work on consciousness to motivate new doubts about both sets of arguments. First, we argue that if either panpsychism or panqualityism is true, then the only way to live in a simulation may be as brains-in-vats, in which case it is unlikely that we live in a simulation. We then argue that if panpsychism or panqualityism is true, then viable simulation hypotheses are substantially sceptical scenarios. We conclude that the nature of consciousness has wide-ranging implications for simulation arguments.

Author Profiles

Micah Summers
Florida State University
Marcus Arvan
University of Tampa

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