Neither mentioning 'brains in a vat' nor mentioning brains in a vat will prove that we are not brains in a vat

Abstract
In Reason, Truth, and History Hilary Putnam has presented an anti-skeptical argument purporting to prove that we are not brains in a vat. How exactly the argument goes is somewhat controversial. A number of competing "recon¬structions" have been proposed. They suffer from a defect which they share with what seems to be Putnam's own version of the argument. In this paper, I examine a very simple and rather natural reconstruction of the argument, one that does not employ any premises in which a sentence, viz. the sentence 'I am a brain in a vat', is mentioned rather than used. In this respect my version of the argument is importantly different from what appears to be Putnam's own version.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.2307/2108187
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Externalism and Skepticism.Keith Butler - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (1):13-34.
Externalism and Scepticism.Keith Butler - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (1):13-34.

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