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Perfect State – Brandon Sanderson

This will be a slightly spoileriffic review, so beware, I suppose, if you haven’t read it and would very much like to. Perfect State is a novella that takes a new look at an old classic of philosophy: the brain in a jar. My understanding of popular interpretations of the theory are limited to that one Philosophy class I took—then quickly dropped—in college, and The Matrix. Perhaps I’m no expert in the subject. I have, however, pondered the topic with friends at great length, late at night (especially in college), only to get lost in the maze of what is reality, anyway? Interesting conversations, those. What I find particularly compelling about the brain-in-a-jar theory is that following any number of logical threads leads to some fundamental questions about experience and subjectivity. If we are indeed disembodied brains, our experiences the result of electrical stimuli, are they still real experiences? Is reality itself not a series of

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