|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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|Brains in a Vat||Rorty VI 166
Brains in a Vat/BIV/Davidson/Rorty: if they have always been in the vat, they many of beliefs about their factual vat-plus-computer environment, no matter what kind of input they receive.
Rorty VI 230
Brains in a Vat/Davidson/Rorty: are mostly right with their assumptions. They are not capable of wondering if they really are sitting in the chair in front of the fire: to ask such a question you need to know something about the things, i.e. be causally related to them. The brains already know a lot, and much of what they know something about is precisely their vat-plus-computer environment.
Rorty VI 230
Dream/Davidson: the dreamer mostly feels the right things. Although he is mistaken, e.g., about what specific real things surround him in that specific moment.
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