Philosopher David Chalmers chats with Jennifer Ouellette about his new book “Reality+”

Jennifer Ouellette in Ars Technica:

Ars Technica: You make frequent references not just to The Matrix but to other classic works in science fiction in your book. What is it about such works that resonate so strongly with philosophers? 

David Chalmers: The Wachowskis do a beautiful job in The Matrix of illustrating so many deep philosophical ideas. And Stanislaw Lem is clearly a very deep philosopher who reflected on some of these scenarios very early on in the 1950s and 1960s, well before any philosophers had. I think almost every science fiction writer is a kind of philosopher because what is a science fiction story but a kind of thought experiment? What if there were machines as intelligent as humans, or what if we were living in a simulation? They go on to reason about the consequences. In a way, that’s what philosophers do, too. We think about these scenarios, and we reason about what follows. When done well, that can bring out something important about the nature of the mind or the nature of reality.

More here.