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Metaphysica

International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

Ed. by Hüntelmann, Rafael / Meixner, Uwe / Tegtmeier, Erwin

Together with Cumpa, Javier

Editorial Board Member: Addis, Laird / Davies, Brian / Hochberg, Herbert / Johansson, Ingvar / Kanzian, Christian / Klima, Gyula / Koons, Robert C / Künne, Wolfgang / Löffler, Winfried / Mulligan, Kevin / Nef, Frederic / Oaklander, Nathan / Oderberg, David / Orilia, Francesco / Plantinga, Alvin / Potrc, Matjaz / Rapp, Christof / Reicher-Marek, Maria Elisabeth / Schantz, Richard / Scholz, Oliver / Seibt, Johanna / Simons, Peter / Smith, Barry / Stoecker, Ralf / Strobach, Niko / Trettin, Käthe / Wachter, Daniel

Online
ISSN
1874-6373
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Additional Reflections on Putnam, Wright and Brains in Vats

1Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG72RD, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Citation Information: Metaphysica. Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 207–212, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2016-0016, August 2016

Publication History

Published Online:
2016-08-31

Abstract

Putnam’s argument against the sceptical Brain-in-a-Vat hypothesis continues to intrigue. I argue in what follows that the argument refutes a particular kind of sceptic and make a proposal about its more general significance. To appreciate the soundness of the argument, I explain, we need to appreciate that the sceptic’s contention is that I cannot know that I am not a brain in a vat even if I am not. This is why in response to the sceptic it is legitimate to make a transition from knowing that a sentence is true to knowing the truth it expresses, which is the crucial move in the argument.

Keywords: Brain-in-a-Vat; scepticism; Putnam; Wright

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