Reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on brain-in-a-vat or BIV- it seems that Putnam took the opposite point of view- that people are not brains in a jar (vat). Because one must use propositions to comment about the external world, Hillary Putnam made an argument that some propositions are causally connected to the external world thus disproving BIV theory. Of course the BIV theory is nothing more than Berkley’s paradigm of ideaism (aka idealism) where a human mind could be a tiny chip with God supplying its input (or a subroutine/loop that is spirit given input from God), or even everything that exist is an idea of God.
The actual Universe commonly experienced (one assumes yet can’t prove) by others is nothing more than an energy field interpreted the way it is because of human physical and cognitive faculties. Though the particles and fields may not be digital quanta it may be helpful to realize or think of it that way. The spacing is on human terms from experience, yet it is just more quanta here or less there, and that embedded in fields within fields-some temporary (perhaps all fields are temporary) that flow in various configurations logically within thermodynamic protocols for everything from quarks to atoms and molecules.
Putnam needs to restore a semblance of credibility to empiricism I think. Something like A.J. Ayers Language, Truth and Logic (that was refuted by WVO Quine in the Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Putnam needs to restore a semblance of credibility to empiricism I think. Something like A.J. Ayers Language, Truth and Logic (that was refuted by WVO Quine in the Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Putnam’s anti-skepticism argument is done with propositional logic. a recent comment of Putnam about the topic said;”“In short, if we are brains in a vat, then ‘we are brains in a vat’ is false. So it is (necessarily) false” (Putnam 1981 [1999: 37]).
Perhaps only marines truly can be said to be jarheads. Maybe a human body is not a jar at all containing a mind, and a brain can of course be extracted from a skull, yet it functions well for now, only within a body. One may cite the 19506-60s movie The Brain that Wouldn’t Die as a brain in a jar paradigm that worked, yet it was a too popular genre in the 70s unto 1981 when Hillary tried to refute BIV.
BIV theories have an expiration date of course that might be extended with good health care. IMO pragmatism that is unavoidable need be the operative premise. So I would agree with Putnam’s paradigm on pragmatic grounds even if the logical or causal relation line of argument seems invalid to me.