Is the Metaverse a new world? Interpreting the Metaverse from the perspective of Heidegger’s philosophy

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Moradi, Moein
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This thesis examines the phenomenon of the Metaverse from Martin Heidegger’s perspective, focusing on the concepts of Dasein, reality, truth, and the world. The main focus of the thesis is the reality and the worldhood in the Metaverse. The first two chapters will explain the main relevant concepts in Heidegger’s philosophy for this topic. This starts with Dasein, which refers to the human existence, and world, which involves the overall network of the significance of meaningful relationships and context. The understanding of truth and reality is also highlighted and emphasized to clarify the existential nature of the network that all these concepts form. In Chapter 3, based on Heidegger’s theories, the relationship between technology and the world is inquired. Heidegger argues that technology is not only a tool, rather, it has the capacity to reveal the world as a standing-reserve, reducing the entities to mere means for certain aims, by way of instrumentalization of the resources that are supposed to be ready for human beings when they need them. Through this preparation, the thesis provides a foundation to explore the ontological concept of the Metaverse. Based on Heidegger’s philosophical framework, chapter 3 of the thesis then concludes that the Metaverse is indeed a new world. The Metaverse, by providing an immersive experience and a variety of new experiential and interactive possibilities provides environments in which people can interact and get involved with visual and digital entities. Dasein through this involvement allows the entities to refer, and in Heidegger, this means for them to be real. The entities in the Metaverse are real, although not in the same way as the entities in the physical world are. The thesis then suggests that the difference between the reality of entities in the Metaverse and the ones in the physical world can be explained by the fact that the kind of references they make in the Metaverse are different from those of the physical world. This means that the virtual representations and experiences within the Metaverse lack some ontological aspects of the physical realm.
Heidegger, Metaverse, world, reality