Ultimately, Reality+ is about extending our sense of the real. Chalmers’s central idea, that 'there is more to reality than we thought', is seductive, and I was surprised to find his arguments delightfully – or perhaps worryingly – convincing ... He has taken a subject most people would dismiss as pure science fiction and produced a brilliant and very readable philosophical investigation. The whole thing is an exercise in what Chalmers calls 'technophilosophy' – asking philosophical questions about technology and using new technology to answer philosophical problems. He tackles some frankly mindbending ideas, but does so in a lively and entertaining style, filled with references to pop culture. The only question is whether you really want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes. But then, what do you have to lose but your illusions?
Chalmers...is adept at making the hypothesis clear without sacrificing its complexity. Indeed, Reality+ sometimes reads like two books in one. It stands as a welcoming work for first-time readers of philosophy, full of genial references to cultural touchstones such as The Matrix and Rick and Morty. Simultaneously, it remains substantial enough for those familiar with the field and its ongoing conversations ... Reality+ is frequently weird, wild and wonderful; it captivates the common reader by refusing to condescend ... Chalmers’s writing is perspicuous and teacherly—an approach that keeps it from collapsing into recalcitrant obscurity ... The beauty we appreciated when we looked at those simulated blooms was authentic, so why would it matter that they’re not 'real'? Chalmers argues this thesis tirelessly and well. To my mind, though, he is less convincing when he seeks to extend it ... Chalmers too quickly waves away the obvious counter-argument: that technology, while seemingly enriching life or making existence easier, necessarily alienates, diminishes and restricts.
... fascinating ... Chalmers knows he’s being provocative...Thankfully, by philosophers’ standards, he’s also unusually committed to trying to change his readers’ minds and proves a thoughtful, clear and funny companion — if not, in the end, an altogether convincing one ... his argument relies mostly on probabilistic analyses of what we would do with the power to produce full-universe simulations (his conclusion: we’d create millions of them). But can we really extrapolate from what we would do to what our unseen simulators might do? Can we be sure that their minds or physical laws are like our own? On the contrary, it seems to me that statistics about our world can’t really tell us anything fruitful about other worlds beyond ... In the end, Reality+ is a gripping act of philosophical escapology — a remarkable, if ultimately unsuccessful, attempt by Chalmers to wriggle free from the wild implications of his opening thesis. Just shy of 500 pages, it’s a sprawling, brain-tenderising beast of a book — but a hugely entertaining one at that.