I don’t know how I missed it before but the Matrix web site contains a section on Philosophical essays on the Matrix. Looks interesting at first glance. Some broad philosophical issues dealt with.
I only read Artificial Ethics, as it seemed to be relevant to some stuff I’ve been thinking about lately. Pretty interesting. The first part is on the moral status of programs. Good, but vaguely unsatisfying. She’s with me that consciousness is the criteria for moral rights. But she ends with saying that both man and machine have an incomplete appreciation for moral rights in The Matrix, stopping short of the full implications this has on man’s actions.
The second section is also pretty interesting. If our actions don’t have any effect in the real world, how morally responsible are we for them? Fascinating. No one but Adrian will care at this point but I’m against her conclusions here. She seems to make morality binary. It’s either moral or immoral. Why can’t there be grades? So that if your decisions in thought have one moral reckoning and their effect on the real world another? So if you consciously will something bad in a dream it’s somewhat immoral, and if you do so in real life it’s more immoral? I dunno, might take some thought to defend that more thoroughly.
How accessible is this stuff? This particular essayist makes a casual reference to the Gettier problem (albeit in the footnotes) which is relatively obscure, no? I dunno, it’s weird that this stuff is on the public site. But pretty cool.