Hilary putnam

Hilary Putnam (31 July 1926 - 13 March 2016)

  • Multiple Realizability

    Multiple Realizability
    This was Putnam's counter to "brain state theorists". A common example used pain as an occurrence that could be tied directly to certain brain signals and function. Multiple realizability countered this stating that in order for brain state to hold true, each organism that experienced pain must have similar anatomy. Bickle, John. “Multiple Realizability.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 18 May 2020, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/multiple-realizability/.
  • DPLL Algorithm

    DPLL Algorithm
    The Davis-Putnam procedure looks to satisfy a boolean expression (SAT) with either true or false values. This procedure was then further developed by Logemann and Loveland to become the DPLL algorithm which is the base for most current SAT solvers. “The DP and DPLL Procedures with Historical Context.” Ebrary, https://ebrary.net/48205/mathematics/dpll_procedures_with_historical_context
  • Twin Earth Thought Experiment

    Twin Earth Thought Experiment
    In a counter to his previous held views on functionalism, Putnam proposed a thought experiment known as Twin Earths. This thought experiment in philosophy of language was a method to show that a word's meaning was not simply something that was "in the head" but was determined by outside factors. Rowlands, Mark, et al. “Externalism about the Mind.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 10 Dec. 2020, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/content-externalism/.
  • Brain in a Vat Thought Experiment

    Brain in a Vat Thought Experiment
    In Putnam's argument against the "brain in a vat" thought experiment, being a modern version of Descartes' demon thought experiment, he describes the experiment as being self-refuting. He establishes causal constraint and reference that show the words are not connected to what they represent, which later become known as semantic externalism. Hickey, Lance P. “The Brain in a Vat Argument.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://iep.utm.edu/brain-in-a-vat-argument/.