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Christopher Grau, "Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix"

  1. Grau points out that Hilary Putnam has attempted to refute the hypothesis that we are all just brains in a vat. Which of the following claims play a key role in Putnam’s refutation?
      a. If we were brains in a vat, we wouldn’t be able to talk because we wouldn’t have mouths.
      b. Introspection tells us that the external world really exists.
      c. To be able to refer to something, we must have had causal contact with that thing.
      d. Because we can be certain that God is not a deceiver, we know that God would not allow us to think we are not brains in a vat unless that were true.
  2. What does Nozick think his Experience Machine thought experiment shows?
      a. That we are not brains in a vat
      b. That we care about more than just pleasurable experiences
      c. That the right way to act is so as to maximize overall pleasure
      d. That we live in a dream world
  3. What evidence does Unger give for the conclusion that we care about more than just pleasurable experiences?
      a. The fact that we all go to the gym to work out even though it isn’t pleasurable
      b. The fact that we all attempt to save our money for retirement
      c. The fact that we get upset when we think someone has been treated unjustly
      d. The fact that we are inclined to buy life insurance for our children to use even after we are dead
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