In “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, Putnam raises the question of whether in the following scenario cats would be robots.

Philosophy Question

Prompt: In “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, Putnam raises the question of whether in the following scenario cats would be robots. All things ever called ‘cats’ are robots made of silicon. They are not alive and are not members of any biological species. The robots look like cats. Everyone is fooled into thinking that they are living animals. But they are not. Otherwise, the world in the scenario is pretty much like our world. Describe the thought experiment in your own words. Explain what is at stake in the theory of reference for natural kind common nouns. Answer these questions. (1) In the situation described by the thought experiment, are cats robots? (2) In that situation, does ‘cats are robots’ (given what it means in the speakers’ idiolects, in that world) express a truth? (3) Is our definition of‘ cats are animals with such and such characteristics’ true? (4) Is it apriori? Support your answer to (4), explaining what ‘apriori’ means.

Write a paper at least 4 pages and no more than 5 pages, double-spaced, times new roman 12 size fonts and 1-inch margins. Papers will not be accepted if they are longer than 5 pages or shorter than 4 pages. There is to be no prose, other than citations.

Absolute rule: Every sentence should be no longer than 16 words. This includes quotations of words.

Rules of thumb: (i) Use simple words, keeping vocabulary down-to-earth. (ii) Given that philosophy is already abstract enough, try to do philosophy by staying as concrete as possible. Use examples. (iii) Use active (not passive) voice as much as possible. (iv) Use transitive not intransitive verbs as much as possible. Transitive verbs, like ‘hit’, have a direct object, like “the ball” in “Mary hit the ball”. Intransitive verbs, like “is” in “Matilde is sad”, lack a direct object–a noun in the accusative (direct object) position. The use of transitive verbs gives your writing more life. (v) If you use a technical expression or an expression that your grandmother would not understand, explain it. If you can’t explain it, you shouldn’t use it. Best to give an example as well. (vi) If you make an argument, break it down into steps. Make sure that the argument logically supports its conclusion. (vii) Keep the writing clear, simple, direct.

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In It Ain't Necessarily So Putnam raises the question of whether in the following scenario cats would be robots.

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