## Friday, February 06, 2015

### The brain in the vat and the burden of proof

Any reason to think it isn't true? One way around this is to shove the burden of proof to the other side. In fact, you can win any debate just by shoving the burden of proof to the other side, because you can ask for proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof for the proof......., until your opponent gets tired.

#### 5 comments:

Ilíon said...

"In fact, you can win any debate just by shoving the burden of proof to the other side, because you can ask for proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof for the proof......., until your opponent gets tired."

That's the whole point of the game I call "Deny-and-Demand"

Harpia Empírica said...

"In fact, you can win any debate just by shoving the burden of proof to the other side, because you can ask for proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof, and then proof for the proof for the proof for the proof for the proof......., until your opponent gets tired"

Prove it.

B. Prokop said...

You want proof? Here:

6.62606957 × 10-34 m2 kg/s

'Nuff said!

(The expression m2 should read "m squared" but I can't figure out how to write superscript in this combox.)

jdhuey said...

But we are brains in vats; it's just that we call those vats 'skulls'.

William said...

There are actually at least 3 very different skeptical scenarios:

1. We are not actually brains in vats, but we are in no position to prove this, because, as Putnam showed, metaphysical realism tend to be self-defeating. I like this one.

2. We are indeed brains in vats, and if we had the proper point of view (from that of a person in a similar world to ours, but to whom we are indeed brains in vats) we would know this. This requires that Platonism be true, in order for the facts of our vat world and the facts of the "outside the vat world" to both contain references to the same platonic entities, without which we cannot call one set of perceptions false and another true. This is the Matrix movie version.

3. Everything is brains in vats--it's brains in vats all the way down. This is similar to Bishop Berkely's idealism as well as Marcus Arvan's more recent Peer-to-Peer theory of consciousness.