Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):593 - 612 (2007)

Authors
Michael Jacovides
Purdue University
Abstract
'If a person can think of an F, then that person has come into causal contact with an F in the right way' is a premise in an obvious reconstruction of Putnam's argument that we are not brains in vats. 'If a person can think of an F, then that person has come into causal contact with an F or with something at least as good as an F' is the only controversial premise in Descartes' argument for the existence of God. Putnam's principle entails Descartes', which suggests that we should enquire after better versions of Putnam's proof. I present three variations and conclude that Putnam's semantic theory does not have anti-sceptical consequences. In contrast, given Descartes' cognitive situation, he was perfectly justified in accepting the soundness of his argument for the existence of God.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.502.x
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References found in this work BETA

Speaking of Nothing.Keith S. Donnellan - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (1):3-31.
Theories, Theorists and Theoretical Change.Philip Kitcher - 1978 - Philosophical Review 87 (4):519-547.
What the Externalist Can Know A Priori.Paul Boghossian - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (2):161-75.
How Can We Know That We’Re Not Brains in Vats?Keith DeRose - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (Supplement):121-148.

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