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Please join the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the Ethics Institute for our weekend-long Information Ethics Roundtable. 


Virtual reality is a hot topic both practically and philosophically. In 2021 Mark Zuckerberg announced that the “metaverse” would be the successor to the internet. And in 2022 the philosopher David Chalmers came out with the book Reality+, which champions the value of “simulated life.” Chalmers takes as his starting point the hypothesis that we are likely in a simulation right now and don’t know it. What is certain is that the use of virtual and augmented reality is spreading. Virtual and augmented reality systems are being used in video games, dating, healthcare, job training, military operations, and cultural institutions. While many of these systems are in very early stages, it is imperative that we engage now in serious reflection on their ethical and epistemological ramifications. This conference provides an opportunity for scholars to gather together to reflect on what virtual and augmented reality means for our understanding of ourselves and our society.  


Conference Schedule:


Saturday, April 1 – Renaissance Park, Room 909 (1135 Tremont Street) 


9:30 Breakfast 

9:50 Welcome 


10:00-11:00 Keynote (hybrid, in-person and Zoom): Philip Brey (University of Twente) Title–TBA 

Register for the Zoom meeting here.

Chair: Victoria Violet (University of Oklahoma) 


11:00-11:25 Morning Conversation Break 


11:25-12:25 “If We’re Living in a Simulation, We’re Probably Massively Deluded” 

Speaker: Don Fallis (Northeastern University) 

Commentator: Rory Smead (Northeastern University) 


12:25-2:25 Lunch at Local Restaurants (invitation only)


2:25-3:25 "Human Suffering and the Simulation Hypothesis" 

Speaker: Grace Helton (Princeton University 

Commentator: Rami Ali (University of Arizona) 


3:25-3:50 Afternoon Conversation Break 


3:50-4:50 “Virtual Choices, Genuine Choices, Fictional Choices” 

Speaker: Joseph Larse (San Francisco State University) 

Commentator: Alexander Zhang (Saint Louis University) 


4:50-6:00 Free Time 

6:00 Speaker Dinner (By invitation only) 


Sunday, April 2 - Renaissance Park, Room 909 (1135 Tremont Street) 


9:30 Breakfast 


10:00-11:00 “Why We are Almost Certainly Living in a Simulation” 

Speaker: Peter Lewis (Dartmouth College) 

Commentator: Yonathan Fiat (MIT) 


11:00-11:25 Morning Conversation Break 


11:25-12:25 ”Thinking Through Digital Worlds” 

Speaker: Ian Werkheiser (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley) 



12:25-1:25 Catered Lunch 


1:25-2:25 Keynote (hybrid, in-person and Zoom): “Why We Should Hope We’re Not Living in a Simulation” 

Eric Schwitzgebel (University of California, Riverside) 

Chair: Cody Turner (Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center)

Register for the Zoom event here. 


2:25-2:50 Afternoon Conversation Break 


2:50-3:50 ”Privacy in a Virtual World” 

Speaker: Kay Mathiesen (Northeastern University) 

Commentator: Daniel Barbarrusa (University of Seville) 

Chair: Dan Zelinski (Richard Bland College) 


3:50-4:00 Round-up and Thanks 

  • Patricio Pino
  • Wyler Giordani

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