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Are You a Brain-In-a-Vat? (Level of Logic: Level 1)

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Abstract

I begin my presentation of Hilary Putnam’s paper “Brains in a Vat” by sketching Putnam’s strategy in large, cartoonlike strokes. Like Bostrom’s paper, Putnam’s engages in a form of radical speculation, albeit in a different and more sophisticated way. The best way to bring out what is radical in Putnam’s program is to caricature it in a way that puts its radicalism into relief. Fundamentally, the radicalism of Putnam’s program is associated with his claim that philosophy can do a sort of work of that physics, or more generally any natural science, is incapable of doing. To insist on this point, Putnam has to uphold a distinction between logical and practical possibility—or something like that. I begin by emphasizing the way he does this.

Keywords

Virtual Machine Counting Number Logical Possibility Afferent Nerve Ending Monkey Typing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AthensUSA

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