Rene Descartes 'The Brain In A Vat'

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In Skepticism and Content Externalism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Brueckner, summarizes an Hilary Putnam’s argument about “brains in a vat.” Putnam was an American Philosopher and scientist. “Brains in a vat” was an experiment that was taken to help scientist further expand on knowledge. It was a new and updated version of Rene Descartes’ Evil Demon experiment. In the Evil Demon experiment, he believed there was a demon whose purpose was to mislead us by creating illusions for our bodies and our world. He felt that a demon was a person consciousness .Descartes believed, “If I think, therefore I am”. To experimentally test this theory, scientists wanted to examine whether the brain received external signals or whether there was, indeed, a “demon” influencing behavior.Thus, in The Brain In a Vat experiment, a scientist removes a person 's brain from the body and puts it into a vat which consists life sustaining liquids.…show more content…
It is also able to give the brain false data in order to fool it to think that the person whose brain they have removed is still alive and functioning instead of being hooked up.Hilary Putnam, however, argues in opposition and is skeptical of Descartes 's theory. He claims that a “Brain in a vat” can only refer to what it sees. For example, if a “Brain in a Vat” sees a tree, it is not thinking of a tree, it is making a reference of a tree. He suggests that human are not a brain in the vat, in that, we do not consciously choose to think about objects or ideas, , but rather the computer is, instead, telling us to think of that. Thus he argues t against Descartes suggestion of “I think, therefore I am.” He thinks a mind and consciousness alone can not mean anything, the computer is not us, but a reference. Putnam thinks one should believe that you experience things as
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