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Heidegger and Virtual Reality: The Implications of Heidegger's Thinking for Computer Representations

Richard Coyne
Leonardo
Vol. 27, No. 1 (1994), pp. 65-73
Published by: The MIT Press
DOI: 10.2307/1575952
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1575952
Page Count: 9
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Heidegger and Virtual Reality: The Implications of Heidegger's Thinking for Computer Representations
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Abstract

This author addresses the assumptions that underlie most research into virtual reality (VR) and other interactive computer systems. These assumptions relate to tensions between views of perception as a matter of data input versus the notion of perception as mental construction. Similarly, there is a tension between the assumption that pictures are meaningful as representations of things and the opposing idea that pictures are meaningful as socially constructed human practices. Aspects of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger are invoked as a means of cutting through these dilemmas. This reading of Heidegger presents truthful representation as a matter of correspondence only when the truth is understood as a means of disclosing a world. The article concludes with practical suggestions for VR research and development appropriated from a Heideggerian perspective.

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