Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Brains in a vat, philosophy: thought experiment of Hilary Putnam (in Reason, truth and history, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1981) in which brains are floating in a nutrient solution while the reality is simulated through electrical impulses. It is about the question whether we can be sure not to be in such a situation. See also skepticism, reference, knowledge, causal theory of knowledge.
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Rorty VI 166
Brains in a Vat/BIV/Davidson/Rorty: if they have always been in the vat, they many of beliefs about their factual vat-plus-computer environment, no matter what kind of input they receive.
Rorty VI 230
Brains in a Vat/Davidson/Rorty: are mostly right with their assumptions. They are not capable of wondering if they really are sitting in the chair in front of the fire: to ask such a question you need to know something about the things, i.e. be causally related to them. The brains already know a lot, and much of what they know something about is precisely their vat-plus-computer environment.
Rorty VI 230
Dream/Davidson: the dreamer mostly feels the right things. Although he is mistaken, e.g., about what specific real things surround him in that specific moment.

D. Davidson
Der Mythos des Subjektiven Stuttgart 1993

D. Davidson
Handlung und Ereignis Frankfurt 1990

D. Davidson
Wahrheit und Interpretation Frankfurt 1990

Ro I
R. Rorty
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

R. Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

R. Rorty
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

R. Rorty
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum Stuttgart 1993

Ro V
R. Rorty
Solidarität oder Objektivität? Stuttgart 1998

R. Rorty
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000

> Counter arguments against Davidson
> Counter arguments in relation to Brains in a Vat

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-29