Special Issue: 'The Future of Work, Play, and Education in the Metaverse'

Guest Editors
Nir Eisikovits (Director, Center for Applied Ethics, UMass Boston)
James Hughes (IEET Executive Director and Associate Provost, UMass Boston)
Alec Stubbs (UMass Boston Post-Doctoral Fellow)

With Facebook’s rebranding to Meta in 2021, the concept of ‘the metaverse’ became a ubiquitous term overnight, inviting both excitement and intense skepticism about the possibilities of our digital future. Broadly speaking, ‘the metaverse’ refers to the emerging online network of three-dimensional, virtual worlds facilitated by virtual and augmented reality technologies. As a proposed successor to our current model of the internet, the metaverse offers a virtual counterpart to our physical world that can accommodate our lives of work, play, and education. Three-dimensional workspaces – whether facilitated by virtual reality or augmented reality headsets – represent new immersive environments for social interaction, community-building, productivity, and learning. From virtual office spaces to interactive classrooms populated with three-dimensional avatars, the metaverse promises a new era of social connectivity on the internet. But while the metaverse presents us with these new opportunities, it also intensifies pre-existing philosophical and normative concerns associated with our online lives. If the metaverse lives up to its hype, we must be able to contend with its moral and social consequences.

This special issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics invites submissions that address some of the following philosophical concerns: What are the moral risks and possibilities for the future of work, play, and education in the metaverse? Do we lose something meaningful in our social relations without physical co-presence; or does the metaverse present us with the opportunity for more authentic social relations online? Will work in the metaverse reproduce or reduce work intensification, exploitation, alienation, discrimination, etc.? How ought we think about the problems of distraction, addiction, and anxiety associated with digital technologies in relation to a life in the metaverse? How will facial recognition and haptic feedback technologies associated with the metaverse impact moral and regulatory concerns related to data privacy and surveillance? How ought we conceptualize property relations, such as non-fungible token (NFTs) and other forms of virtual property, in the metaverse?

We are particularly interested in submissions that address these various philosophical challenges as they relate to work, play, and education in the metaverse.

Potential philosophical topics for inclusion in this special issue include:

·       The problem of ‘authenticity’ and co-presence in the metaverse

·       Interoperability of identity and property within and across the metaverse

·       Distraction and addiction in the metaverse

·       The digital divide and the metaverse

·       Big data, data privacy, and surveillance in the metaverse

·       Democratizing the metaverse

·       Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual property  


Papers should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length and should be submitted by July 1st, 2023, with the aim of publishing the special issue in Autumn 2024.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at

Special Issue: ‘Longtermism: Philosophical Questions’


Guest Editor: Stefan Riedener (University of Zurich)


Longtermism is the view that positively influencing the long-term future is a – or perhaps the – key moral priority of our time (see e.g. MacAskill, What We Owe the Future). The standard argument for this view is simple: the long-term future might concern the fate of enormously many beings; these beings matter morally (at least roughly) as much as we or our contemporaries do; and we can affect their existence and quality of life. The upshot seems to be that positively shaping the next hundreds of thousands of years is more important than just about anything else. When we ponder how to structure our economy, how to respond to climate change, pursue international politics and so on, we should ask primarily how our decisions will impact the very long-term trajectory of the universe. 


This is a radical idea, and it deserves much more academic discussion than it has so far received. Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that engage with philosophical questions surrounding longtermism. Is the standard argument sound? What are the primary philosophical objections against it? Are there alternative argumentative routes – perhaps grounded in key deontological or virtue-ethical ideas – that lead to a similar conclusion? What would longtermism imply for our self-understanding today? What import does it have for specific moral issues, such as animal ethics, the ethics of AI or global inequality? These are only some of the questions that contributors may address.


Papers should be submitted by October 31, 2023 and should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length.


All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process. Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editor but by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on publication decisions.


The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at