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The Australian National University

Finding Space in a Nonspatial World, Professor David Chalmers, Centre for Consciousness, ANU

Date and time

Thu, 1st Aug 2013 - 12:00pm

Venue

Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre, Building 56, Mills Road, ANU Campus

We experience a world of three-dimensional space in one-dimensional
time.  How can we locate this experienced world in the different
picture of space and time given by physics?  Relativity yields a
four-dimensional spacetime in which space is not absolute, and
physicists entertain theories in which four-dimensional spacetime is
not fundamental.  In such a world, how do we locate space as we
experience it?  I pursue this question aided by an analogy with color:
how do we locate colors in an uncolored world?  I argue for a sort of
spatial functionalism, on which we identify ordinary space by its
effects: space is as space does.  I use this view to address the
status of space in virtual reality scenarios such as those depicted in
The Matrix.
 

 

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