Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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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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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Gareth Evans on Brains in a Vat - Dictionary of Arguments

Frank I, 554f
Brains in a vat/Evans: there are no truth-makers in ths case If the subject learns the truth, it would have to consider "nowhere".
It is meaningless to identify themselves: "I am a brain" - body and localization crucial.
Different: brain transplant: there is a history here: the brain would be experienced as "somewhere". ((s) Cf. >Identity/Parfit.)


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EMD II
G. Evans/J. McDowell
Truth and Meaning Oxford 1977

Evans I
Gareth Evans
"The Causal Theory of Names", in: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 47 (1973) 187-208
In
Eigennamen, Ursula Wolf, Frankfurt/M. 1993

Evans II
Gareth Evans
"Semantic Structure and Logical Form"
In
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell, Oxford 1976

Evans III
G. Evans
The Varieties of Reference (Clarendon Paperbacks) Oxford 1989


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-03-01
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