Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Philosophers have noted that reality’s experiential, and that it’s thereby impossible to divorce “the universe” from our experience thereof.

Most famously it’s been noted that, were we nothing but a brain in a jar, being stimulated by electrical current, we’d perceive existence no differently than we do in day to day life.

It’s thusly suggested that we cannot trust the evidence of our senses. This is the point.

I understand this.

Yet my thoughts return to those brains in jars, convinced they’re people living full lives.

And in my own jar, in this little lab, I can’t help feeling jealous...


  1. It's the same as the old Descartesian issue: I think, therefore I am. All could be illusory, but if it is and it's meaningless then how I react doesn't matter, if it's real then I should treat it like it's real, and if it's a meaningful illusion then playing along is at least a respectable start. If I'm a brain in a jar, I might as well think up something nice.

  2. Yep, it's pure Descartes (later refined by Putnam).

    Of greater note, "thusly" isn't a real word. It was made up by dumb southerners so they could sound sophisticated while remaining illiterate.

  3. very true, but every word comes from somewhere, why should this particular source disqualify thusly from use?