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Philosophies 2016, 1(1), 40-54; doi:10.3390/philosophies1010040

Virtuality and Reality—Toward a Representation Ontology

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Eötvös University, 1518 Budapest, Pf. 32, Hungary
Academic Editor: Vincent C. Müller
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computing and Philosophy: Papers from IACAP 2014)
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Abstract

Based on a brief overview of the history of ontology and on some philosophical problems of virtual reality, a new approach to virtuality is proposed. To characterize the representational (information, cognitive, cultural, communication) technologies in the Internet age, I suggest that Aristotle’s dualistic ontological system (which distinguishes between actual and potential being) be complemented with a third form of being: virtuality. In the virtual form of being actuality and potentiality are inseparably intertwined. Virtuality is potentiality considered together with its actualization. In this view, virtuality is reality with a measure, a reality which has no absolute character, but which has a relative nature. This situation can remind us the emergence of probability in the 17th century: then the concept of certainty, now the concept of reality is reconsidered and relativized. Currently, in the descriptions of the world created by representational technologies, there are two coherent worldviews with different ontologies: the world is inhabited by (absolute) actual and (absolute) potential beings—or all the beings in the world are virtual. View Full-Text
Keywords: actuality and potentiality; virtuality; openness; history of ontology; virtual reality; presence; worldliness; representation technologies; information; Aristotle actuality and potentiality; virtuality; openness; history of ontology; virtual reality; presence; worldliness; representation technologies; information; Aristotle
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ropolyi, L. Virtuality and Reality—Toward a Representation Ontology. Philosophies 2016, 1, 40-54.

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