Of brains in vats, whatever brains in vats may be

Philosophical Studies 112 (3):225 - 249 (2003)
Abstract
Hilary Putnam has offered two arguments to show that we cannotbe brains in a vat, and one to show that our cognitive situationcannot be fully analogous to that of brains in a vat. The latterand one of the former are irreparably flawed by misapplicationsof, or mistaken inferences from, his semantic externalism; thethird yields only a simple logical truth. The metaphysical realismthat is Putnams ultimate target is perfectly consistent withsemantic externalism.
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