Thursday, January 11, 2018

What Do Philosophers Do?

What do you know, for sure? Being sure that you have hands,
for example, could be justified ( you may be using them now,
to operate a phone or a keyboard), but you can hardly rule out
the following scenario, according to which you have no hands:

Your brain was recently harvested by aliens and you are now in a vat
experiencing a detailed simulation; your memories have been altered,
but for you "hand" still refers to things outside the vat. And out there,
those aliens have turned the real world into one enormous brain-farm.

You cannot rule that out,
but you can know that it is unlikely
that your brain was only recently harvested
and so you can, of course, know that you have hands.

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