Serious theories and skeptical theories: Why you are probably not a brain in a vat

Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1031-1052 (2016)
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Abstract

Skeptical hypotheses such as the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis provide extremely poor explanations for our sensory experiences. Because these scenarios accommodate virtually any possible set of evidence, the probability of any given set of evidence on the skeptical scenario is near zero; hence, on Bayesian grounds, the scenario is not well supported by the evidence. By contrast, serious theories make reasonably specific predictions about the evidence and are then well supported when these predictions are satisfied

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Author's Profile

Michael Huemer
University of Colorado, Boulder

Citations of this work

Bayesian Epistemology.William Talbott - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Philosophers should prefer simpler theories.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3049-3067.
Two New Doubts about Simulation Arguments.Micah Summers & Marcus Arvan - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):496-508.

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References found in this work

Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.

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