Philosophy Lexicon 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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I 318
Brains in the Vat/Poundstone: each object then means electrical pulses (only different sequence), then also "brain" - then the reference of "I'm a brain in a vat" also electrical pulse sequence and not the brain - so the sentence is wrong, because we are not pulses - Poundstone/Solution: "I am what they call a "GIT" in lab speak" - Problem: "Lab speak" is metaphysical - f.o.th. - I 340 the theory of brains in a vat has no predictive power - as little as the cipher "iii..." - because everything depends on electrical pulses - the next apple may fall upwards - because it is moved by an electrical pulse and not by gravity.
W. Poundstone
I W. Poundstone Im Labyrinth des Denkens, Reinbek 1995


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



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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-23