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.

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 Item Summary Meta data
II 175
Brains in a Vat/BIV/Nozick: although the belief that he is in the vat is correctly caused, the person is not susceptible to this fact. - Susceptibility would require covariance of belief and facts. ->Counterfactual Conditional: if the brains were not in the vat, they would not believe it.
II 210
Brains in a Vat/Nozick: >nonfactualism: we are not connected with the fact that we are not in the vat, even if we are not in the vat. - ((s) Even if such a fact exists).
II 244
BIV/Skepticism/NozickVsSkepticism: he calls for something too strong: there is supposed to be a q ("We are in a vat"), such that it is incompatible with any p. - In contrast, the weaker is true: for each p there is something that is incompatible with it. - (Quantifiers interchanged).

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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

No I
R. Nozick
Philosophical Explanations Oxford 1981

R., Nozick
The Nature of Rationality 1994

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> Counter arguments in relation to Brains in a Vat

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-07-11
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