Conceiving one's envatment while denying metaphysical realism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (4):469 – 474 (1992)
J.D. Collier sees Putnam as arguing (in the 'Brains in a Vat' chapter of [4]) that metaphysical realism is false.' He sees the argument as proceeding from the background assumption that metaphysical realism has the consequence that truth is 'radically non-epistemic', so that 'an [epistemically] ideal theory could be radically wrong about the world' [3, p. 413]. But, according to Collier, Putnam argues that 'an ideal theory satisfying all of our methodological and theoretical constraints cannot be false' [3, p. 413]. Collier attempts to defend metaphysical realism against this Putnamian attack by distinguishing 'between our ability to state a theory and our ability to conceive its possibility' [3, p. 413]. I will show that this defence is unsuccessful.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,265
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Anthony L. Brueckner (1986). Brains in a Vat. Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):148-167.
Tyler Burge (1982). Other Bodies. In Andrew Woodfield (ed.), Thought and Object. Oxford University Press
John D. Collier (1990). Could I Conceive Being a Brain in a Vat? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (4):413 – 419.
Hilary Putnam (1980). Models and Reality. Journal of Symbolic Logic 45 (3):464-482.

View all 6 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Sven Rosenkranz (2006). Priest and the Bishop. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):335–347.
Steven Hendley (2006). Habermas Between Metaphysical and Natural Realism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (4):521 – 537.
Valer Ambrus (1999). Is Putnam's Causal Theory of Meaning Compatible with Internal Realism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (1):1-16.
Jürgen Dümont (1999). Putnam's Model-Theoretic Argument(S). A Detailed Reconstruction. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (2):341-364.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

28 ( #97,310 of 1,700,312 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #362,609 of 1,700,312 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.