Water, Phlogiston, Brains, and Vats

Sorites 14:16-20 (2002)
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Abstract

Ted Warfield has presented a new version of the Putnamian argument for the conclusion that we are not brains in a vat. This version is intended to avoid reliance on some questionable background assumptions which other versions have made. It seems that Warfield's argument fails, for reasons pointed out by Anthony Brueckner. However, in this paper I present a new version of the argument -- my version relies on assumptions no more objectionable than Warfield's, yet it is immune to Brueckner's objection

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