Serious theories and skeptical theories: Why you are probably not a brain in a vat

Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1031-1052 (2016)
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Abstract

Skeptical hypotheses such as the brain-in-a-vat hypothesis provide extremely poor explanations for our sensory experiences. Because these scenarios accommodate virtually any possible set of evidence, the probability of any given set of evidence on the skeptical scenario is near zero; hence, on Bayesian grounds, the scenario is not well supported by the evidence. By contrast, serious theories make reasonably specific predictions about the evidence and are then well supported when these predictions are satisfied

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Michael Huemer
University of Colorado, Boulder

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