Natural Rationality | decision-making in the economy of nature


Second Life and agency

For those who, like me, knew almost nothing about Second Life, here is an excellent presentation:

The weirdest thing is that you can surf the web in Second Life world, which is already online ! What is impressive (and maybe scary) is also the virtual economy: millions of dollars transit from our world to this world.

Once your finished, have a look at how Second Life and synthethic worlds make philosophers thinks:

I argue that participants in a virtual world such as "Second Life" exercise genuine agency via their avatars. Indeed, their avatars are fictional bodies with which they act in the virtual world, just as they act in the real world with their physical bodies. Hence their physical bodies can be regarded as their default avatars.

I also discuss recent research into "believable" software agents, which are designed on principles borrowed from the character-based arts, especially cinematic animation as practiced by the artists at Disney and Warner Brothers Studios. I claim that these agents exemplify a kind of autonomy that should be of greater interest to philosophers than that exemplified by the generic agent modeled in current philosophical theory. The latter agent is autonomous by virtue of being governed by itself; but a believable agent appears to be governed by a self, which is the anima by which it appears to be animated.

Putting these two discussions together, I suggest that philosophers of action should focus their attention on how we animate our bodies.