Semantic self-knowledge and the vat argument

Joshua Rowan THORPE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Putnam’s vat argument is intended to show that I am not a permanently envatted brain. The argument holds promise as a response to vat scepticism, which depends on the claim that I do not know that I am not a permanently envatted brain. However, there is a widespread idea that the vat argument cannot fulfil this promise, because to employ the argument as a response to vat scepticism I would have to make assumptions about the content of the premises and/or conclusion of the argument that beg the question against the sceptic. In this paper, I show that this idea is mistaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2289-2306
Number of pages18
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume176
Issue number9
Early online date18 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks to Crispin Wright, Peter Sullivan, Adrian Haddock, David Horst and Bernhard Salow for helpful discussion. This paper benefited greatly from being presented at a Philosophy Work in Progress Seminar at the University of Campinas, a Knowledge Beyond Natural Science Project Seminar at Stirling University, and a Philosophy of Language Group Seminar at Edinburgh University. I would like to thank all three audiences for their comments. An anonymous referee at Philosophical Studies also provided comments which have greatly improved the paper. I am grateful for a research grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation (Grant ID No. 2016/03277-1) that allowed me to complete this paper.

Funding Information:
Thanks to Crispin Wright, Peter Sullivan, Adrian Haddock, David Horst and Bernhard Salow for helpful discussion. This paper benefited greatly from being presented at a Philosophy Work in Progress Seminar at the University of Campinas, a Knowledge Beyond Natural Science Project Seminar at Stirling University, and a Philosophy of Language Group Seminar at Edinburgh University. I would like to thank all three audiences for their comments. An anonymous referee at Philosophical Studies also provided comments which have greatly improved the paper. I am grateful for a research grant from the S?o Paulo Research Foundation (Grant ID No. 2016/03277-1) that allowed me to complete this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature B.V.

Keywords

  • Brains in vats
  • Epistemology
  • Hilary Putnam
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Scepticism

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