Volume 9, Issue 3, September/December 2020
Peter Aloysius Agbonoga Ikhane
Symontosis and Conceptual Ambivalence in Worldmaking
In this paper, I explore an African metaphysics of virtual reality (VR). The questions that guide my analysis include: (i) how are we to understand the changes the virtual world causes in how our knowledge and awareness of life are rooted? And (ii) how do we perceive our lived-reality as we go in and come out of a world generated by the computer? Though I take VR to denote a not-quite-actual world that stands in contrast to the physical or primary world, I show that VR is a variant of worldmaking. On this, I controvert the intuition to take African metaphysics of virtual reality to be concerned with an analysis of the ontological contrasts between VR and the primary world. Drawing on the principle of symontosis, I show that African metaphysics of VR is to be concerned with an analysis of the ‘harmony’ of both worlds. In this vein, I present the primary world as providing the metaphysical anchor for the virtual world, as wherefrom, we are rooted and can organise our lived-experience of VR.