The metaphysics of books

I’ve started reading David Chalmers’ new book Reality+: virtual words and the problems of philosophy. Among other things, Chalmers asks the question of whether our reality is just a simulation. And if it is, would we have any way of knowing?

But maybe I am just a simulation of me reading this book. Or perhaps I am a simulation of me reading a simulation of this book.

I’m ok with the first part of that, but that last part is where I get stuck. Is there any difference, really, between a book and a simulation of that book? Aren’t they, essentially, exactly the same thing?

I understand that we can remain uncertain that we ourselves are “real” in some metaphysical sense. But our books are absolutely real, as informational entities, no matter what metaphysical interpretation one has of reality itself.

When it comes to a book, it’s turtles all the way down.

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