Theory of Knowledge

In a vat, a brain floating in liquid is connected to a computer.  A thought bubble above the brain reads "I'm walking outside in the sun!!"

Hilary Putnam's "Brain in a Vat" thought experiment is a modern version of Descartes' argument of an evil demon feeding false information to the senses. (This image is in the public domain. Source: Was a bee.)


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As Taught In

Spring 2014



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course is an introduction to epistemology: the theory of knowledge. We will focus on skepticism—that is, the thesis that we know nothing at all—and we will survey a range of skeptical arguments and responses to skepticism.

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Related Content

Declan Smithies. 24.211 Theory of Knowledge. Spring 2014. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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