On Virtuality

In recent years the concept of "virtuality" has become popular both in social scientific discussions and in journalistic use. While it has been mostly connected to digital technologies, it has also been understood in loose negative terms as something that only "simulates" the "real reality". In order to define it positively this article discusses two uses of the term, one proposed by Gilles Deleuze and the other by Pierre Lévy. They do not define virtuality as lacking reality – for them it is a dimension of the real – but against what is present in actual forms. Whereas Deleuze uses this term in discussing basic questions of philosophy such as the general nature of being and the problems of creation, Lévy connects it more closely to the recent developments in technology and their effect on the current culture.

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