11 votes
Accepted

Was the Brain-in-a-Vat thought experiment explored philosophically before Putnam?

Putnam certainly deserves credit for the colorful realization, but philosophically brain in a vat/isolated brain issues are traced back (including by SEP) to Cartesian evil demon , which predates not ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 42.8k
5 votes

How does the 'Brain in a Vat Argument' differ from the 'Simulation Argument'?

One difference between the brain in a vat argument and the simulation argument is their motivations. The brain in a vat argument is motivated to support skepticism through doubting one's senses. The ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
  • 19.3k
4 votes

How does the 'Brain in a Vat Argument' differ from the 'Simulation Argument'?

There is indeed a fundamental difference. The Brain-in-a-vat seems within the reach of even human technology. In other words, it is a highly convincing and realistic scenario. A brain in a vat would ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
  • 6,823
2 votes
Accepted

What are "Concepts" according to Hilary Putnam?

See page 17 : But what are concepts ? [...] Concepts are not mental presentations that intrinsically refer to external objects for the very decisive reason that they are not mental presentations at ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
2 votes

Does the brain in a vat problem shift the burden of proof?

The purpose of the brain-in-a-vat scenario is not to convince anyone that we might really be a brain in a vat; the purpose is to illustrate the fundamental disconnection between perception and reality....
David Gudeman's user avatar
2 votes

A terrifying variant of Boltzmann's brain

A Boltzmann brain doesn't need to survive for long. From Wikipedia: The Boltzmann brain thought experiment suggests that it might be more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form ...
kutschkem's user avatar
  • 2,290
1 vote

Is reality a matter of perspective?

It's like the problems with the Justified True Belief picture. And with Frege's sense of reference and Russell's denoting. Consider instead Bayesian reasoning. Assuming the mother's priors were our ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 21.2k
1 vote

What is the most probable AI?

Humans will try to create artificial intelligence. Whether that is wise is an open question, but they will. The problem is that we can create quite powerful computers and powerful software, but the ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 5,481
1 vote

What is the most probable AI?

Tangents There are a couple of mistakes in your premise which aren't pertinent to the question you're asking; I feel the need to address them to begin with. in order to function, even for a very ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 2,092
1 vote

A terrifying variant of Boltzmann's brain

Boltzmann brains are still talked about by prestigious physicists and philosophers so I don’t know why people are dismissing you. Leonard Susskind, Sean Carroll, and David Albert and many others ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,620
1 vote

A terrifying variant of Boltzmann's brain

I would like to give a different answer to this question. A Boltzmann brain is a brain that has formed by chance (probability theory does not forbid that). Many things may be formed by mere chance, ...
Nikos M.'s user avatar
  • 2,183
1 vote

Does the brain in a vat problem shift the burden of proof?

The most straightforward way to refute an argument is to provide a counter example, and what you're calling "the brain in a vat argument" isn't an argument at all, so here's what I suspect ...
Steven Harder's user avatar
1 vote

Chalmers'argument that the brain in the VAT does not lead to skepticism

Chalmers' point in "The Matrix as Metaphysics" is that the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis should be considered a metaphysical hypothesis rather than a skeptic's thought experiment. Suppose we are in fact ...
natojato's user avatar
  • 990
1 vote

How do we know we could be brains in vats?

The skeptic's claim is not "We are certain that we could be brains in vats" - rather, it's "We are not certain that we are not brains in vats." This claim is fundamentally different. To defeat it, ...
Noah Schweber's user avatar
1 vote

How does the 'Brain in a Vat Argument' differ from the 'Simulation Argument'?

More of the same There is little practical difference among the different scenarios. As christo183 points out, there have been many variations of the same thought experiment, and they all basically ...
xiota's user avatar
  • 199
1 vote

How does the 'Brain in a Vat Argument' differ from the 'Simulation Argument'?

Both arguments are skeptical about the "real" existence of the external world as we believe it to be, or seem to experience it, but there are some significant differences. The Brain in a Vat doesn't ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 29.4k
1 vote

Is this a good argument against Simulation and Brain in a Vat hypotheses?

This is a comment on the idea that a person, e.g. me, could really be a simulation running on a computer. The idea that I'm a simulation assumes that the executing simulation has semantic content. I'...
Roddus's user avatar
  • 685
1 vote

When does a brain transplant make something human?

Before delving into the meat of the question, I would like to argue that, semantically, "humanity" is probably a misnomer for the condition you are trying to understand. It implies the ...
Eliot G York's user avatar
1 vote

Isn't a brain not just another vat?

The only safe answer is to assume "yes" for a strictly dualist perspective. To elaborate, if you assume you are in some sort of simulation and that an evil scientist is responsible then we can deduce ...
CooLeeo's user avatar
  • 49
1 vote

Was the Brain-in-a-Vat thought experiment explored philosophically before Putnam?

Stanisław Lem, the well-known science fiction writer (who wrote Solaris, which has had two movie adaptations, and who by the way also produced a fascinating non-fiction work called Summa Technologiae, ...
plopper's user avatar
  • 11

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible