04 April 2006


I'm looking forward to this lecture.

On whether it is another worthy footnote to Plato, see John Partridge's contribution to a fascinating web collection of essays on the film.

Iakovos Vasiliou, another ancient philosopher, also contributes an essay.

"The Matrix as Metaphysics" by David Chalmers

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 4:00 p.m.
Lurie Conference Room,
Higgins University Center, Clark University

Are we living in a Matrix? And if so, is our perception of the external world illusory? Many people, including philosophers from Descartes to Morpheus, say yes: if we're in a Matrix, then the ordinary objects that we seem to see don't exist, and we're radically deluded. I say no: even if we're in a Matrix, ordinary objects still exist, and most of our beliefs about the external world are correct. Instead, we can see the Matrix hypothesis as a metaphysical hypothesis about the underlying nature of our world.

Chalmers is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the
Australian National University.


Chris Grau said...

I'm not sure I get your point here. Is it that Chalmers should be aware of the connections between Plato and the Matrix? Since he's a pretty bright guy, and he's in the same collection  of essays as Partridge, I suspect he is aware. Also, Iakovos Vasiliou doesn't even mention Plato in his essay. Did you list him just because he does ancient?

Ho hum indeed!


Posted by Chris Grau

Michael Pakaluk said...

Dear Chris,

I suppose my attempt at humor backfired. It's hard to convey tone electronically. I was lampooning the 'nothing new under the sun' attitude by a mock overstatement of it--and certainly not trying to depreciate David Chalmers.

In fact, I like Chalmers and his work, and I'm looking forward eagerly to his visit. His thesis is of course very different from Plato's.

My mention of Vasiliou was artificial, I grant. (A blogger's task: to bring something in with few words, and entertainingly.) But he mentions Heraclitus in a footnote, at least.

Thanks for your comments. Keep me honest.


Michael Pakaluk said...

I've rewritten the post, since it was not very successful in its first version. MP

Chris Grau said...

I like this version of your post better, though of course now my comments are going to look pretty mysterious to newcomers! At any rate, I agree that tone is hard to get across electronically, and my own post may have come off as more snarky than I intended. As editor of that collection, I admit I'm a bit hypersensitive!