Shattered embodiment
Cyberspace as Cartesian Project

von Elke Müller
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In the Western world, we are still proceeding from a Cartesian worldview. In this paper I will illustrate that this dualistic worldview is objectified in Virtual Reality technologies. In order to illustrate this, I will first explain the main ideas of Descartes’ Optics with respect to his vision on sense perception, space and the body. Secondly, I will compare the described topics of Descartes’ philosophy with the phenomenological critique and alternative of Merleau-Ponty. These elaborations will serve as a background for my illustration. I will distinguish three kinds of virtual spaces, of which the CAVE seems to arouse the strongest kind of Cartesian ruptures, which I will refer to as experiences of ‘shattered embodiment’.