Could a Brain in a Vat Self‐Refer?

European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):74-93 (2013)
Abstract
: Radical sceptical possibilities challenge the anti-realist view that truth consists in ideal rational acceptability. Putnam, as part of his defence of an anti-realist view, subjected the case of the brain in a vat to a semantic externalist treatment, which aimed to maintain the desired connection between truth and ideal rational acceptability. It is argued here that self-consciousness poses special problems for this externalist strategy. It is shown how, on a standard model of first-person reference, Putnam's brain in a vat will be mistaken in its rational self-ascription of externalist predicates. The natural response, which employs an alternative model of first-person reference, is shown to have the equally realist consequence that there are enquiry-transcendent truths about the self
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2010.00435.x
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Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Truth and Objectivity.Crispin Wright - 1992 - Harvard University Press.

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