The Values of the Virtual, presented by Dr. Rami Ali

Rami El Ali

Abstract:  What is the value of virtual theft when compared to nonvirtual theft? Or a virtual relationship when compared to a nonvirtual relationship? More generally, how do we assign value to virtual counterparts? In this talk I offer a framework for answering this question while introducing my research more broadly. I distinguish two views of virtual value. Virtual monism maintains that virtual Xs belong to only one value-salient kind in relation to X, while virtual pluralism denies this. I argue that while popular, virtual monism is mistaken. The standard dualistic versions of virtual pluralism are also mistaken by being too coarse-grained. In place I argue for a four-fold pluralism, on which virtual Xs belong to one of four basic and differently valued kinds and apply this view to various debates.


Bio:  Rami El Ali is a philosopher of mind, primarily working on perception, technology, and phenomenology. He received his first PhD in philosophy from the University of Miami. After eight years as a professor of philosophy at the Lebanese American University, he left to pursue a second PhD in Information at the University of Arizona. He is currently completing a monograph on perception and preparing new research on virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Contact: For more info or to contact Rami El Ali, please visit


11:30 a.m. Jan. 20, 2023