In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)

Authors
Tim Button
University College London
Abstract
Hilary Putnam’s BIV argument first occurred to him when ‘thinking about a theorem in modern logic, the “Skolem–Löwenheim Theorem”’ (Putnam 1981: 7). One of my aims in this paper is to explore the connection between the argument and the Theorem. But I also want to draw some further connections. In particular, I think that Putnam’s BIV argument provides us with an impressively versatile template for dealing with sceptical challenges. Indeed, this template allows us to unify some of Putnam’s most enduring contributions to the realism/antirealism debate: his discussions of brains-in-vats, of Skolem’s Paradox, and of permutations. In all three cases, we have an argument which does not merely defeat the sceptic; it also shows us that we must reject some prima facie plausible philosophical picture.
Keywords Brains in vats  Scepticism  Hilary Putnam  Metaphysical realism  Internal realism  Model theory  Skolem's Paradox
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Putnam’s Paradox.David Lewis - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):221 – 236.

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