Girl, Pixelated – Narrative Identity, Virtual Embodiment, and Second Life
This paper focuses on the reasons for, and consequences of, expanding our notions of human embodiment to virtual worlds. Increasingly, it is within virtual environments that we seek to extend, and enhance, who we are. Yet, philosophical worries persist about what sorts of selves count as moral agents, and the extent to which self-enhancements affect personal identity and agency. This paper critiques and expands the discourse on embodiment and personal identity by locating it within the virtual environments of Second Life, challenging the prevailing limitations of what counts as identity-constituting embodiment. I argue that more inclusive notions of embodiment make possible a deeper understanding of its moral and epistemic force that constitutes and locates our identities in a universe of shared moral understandings. Thus, by including enhanced virtual embodiments alongside the non-virtual, not only do we expand our ideas of what it might mean to be embodied, but we also deepen our moral vocabularies of the self.
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