Virtual worlds and their challenge to philosophy: Understanding the 'intravirtual' and the 'extravirtual'

Johnny Soraker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The Web, in particular real-time interactions in three-dimensional virtual environments (virtual worlds), comes with a set of unique characteristics that leave our traditional frameworks inapplicable. The present chapter illustrates this by arguing that the notion of “technology relations,” as put forward by Ihde and Verbeek, becomes inapplicable when it comes to the Internet, and this inapplicability shows why these phenomena require new philosophical frameworks. Against this background, and more constructively, the chapter proposes a fundamental distinction between “intravirtual” and “extravirtual” consequences—a distinction that allows us to understand and conceptualize real-time interactions online more accurately. By relating this distinction to Searle's notion of “condition of satisfaction,” the chapter also shows its implications for judging real-time, online interactions in virtual worlds as irrational and/or immoral. The ultimate purpose is to illustrate how new philosophical concepts and frameworks can allow us to better account for the unique characteristics of the Internet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosphical engineering: toward a philosophy of the Web
EditorsHarry Halpin, Alexandre Monnin
Place of PublicationHoboken (NJ)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1118700181
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series



  • IR-89192
  • METIS-301904


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