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An essay outlining David Chalmers ‘The Matrix as Metaphysics’ hypothesis

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Part 1.
    1. Definition of the Matrix.
    2. The physical computational hypothesis.
    3. The creation hypothesis.
    4. The mind-body hypothesis.
    5. The metaphysical hypothesis.
  3. Part 2.
    1. Chalmers: Uniting all three hypotheses.
    2. Objections.
    3. Beliefs about other people's minds.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Notes.
  6. References.

This essay outlines David Chalmers Matrix hypothesis. Chalmers is a consciousness researcher with interests in philosophical questions. As we shall see he regards the Matrix theory as a Metaphysical hypothesis. Chalmers neither endorses the Matrix theory nor rejects it. Rather he respects it as a speculative theory saying that it should be taken ?seriously.? The Matrix is concerned with a philosophical perspective: the brain in a vat. A disembodied brain is floating in a vat, inside a scientist's laboratory. The scientist has made it so that the brain of the human living in the Matrix and the brain outside of the Matrix will correspond with one another. Hence the human brain is connected to ?a giant computer simulation of a world.?2 When the brain produces outputs, these are fed back into the simulation. The internal state of the brain is just like that of a normal brain, despite the fact that it lacks a body. From the brain's point of view, things seem very much as they seem to you and me.

[...] Interestingly, Chalmers goes on to label the Matrix Hypothesis as creation myth for the information age.?3 This gives the hypothesis a positive psychological side to it. And a Matrix creation myth would be a modernized (indeed ultra modern) mythology as traditionally creation myths that been about the expression of explanatory narrative that consist of gods, demons and so forth. But a Matrix based creation myth would be one that says that the universe was not created by God nor by gods. [...]


[...] Those beings that live in a Matrix may be deceived into thinking that their universe is all that there is. No doubt this would happen. But this doesn't cause me much concern. Humans used to believe that the earth was flat, that the sun went around the earth, and that the universe was much smaller than it is and so on. Everyday reality matters more for the humans psychological stability. One may not understand a great deal about the nature of reality but might find more than enough comfort in familiarity and family and friends, routine etc. [...]


[...] Conclusion In this essay we have argued in agreement with Chalmers that if the Matrix hypothesis was true it would advance science by pointing to a deeper fundamental reality but that it would not make our science false and would not destroy our perception of everyday reality. In this conclusion we discuss any areas where it might just disturb our perceptions a little. The power of the being(s) or intelligence(s) that created our universe is an interesting thought to ponder. [...]

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