Julian Baggini/ Jesper Kallestrup/ Chris Norris/ Sarah Sawyer

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Does perception give me any reason to believe in an external world, or could I be a ‘brain in a vat’ that is fed information by a malicious (or benevolent) scientist? And if I were such a brain, could I ever say or think this? This is just one puzzle raised by the Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam, who died last year. Though its origins are in Augustine and Descartes, Putnam revolutionised its implications for our understanding of knowledge, language, and the mind. We bring together a distinguished panel to discuss his life and work.

Julian Baggini, Philosopher, Writer and Founder of The Philosophers’ Magazine\
Jesper Kallestrup, Professor of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh
Chris Norris, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Cardiff University
Sarah Sawyer, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Sussex

Peter Dennis, Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

Recorded on 8 November 2016 at the LSE