An argument for solipsism

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Belinda
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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Belinda » May 20th, 2012, 3:55 am

Spectrum wrote:
Spinoza moved to nature and a panentheistic or pantheistic God is definitely more refined than Berkeley's creator God. However as with any God concept, it clashes with Kant's noumenon that limits the existence of God in any form.



Kant in CPR wrote:"If by 'noumenon' we mean a thing so far as it is not an object of our sensible intuition, and so abstract from our mode of intuiting it, this is a noumenon in the negative sense of the term".[20]


As we moved on, one should get rid of the concept of 'noumenon' into 'emptiness'.
Kant follows on with scepticism about the possibility of absolute knowledge, after Hume shot himself in his empiricism foot after his criticism of induction; Kant's view on the noumenous is that what marks the noumenous is what marks the limit of what we can know. But Spinoza has sorted how we can and cannot know things by his 'adequate ideas'. Those are state of the art knowledge including self knowledge and state of the art judgements.Spinozan philosophy, moreover ,implies that solipsism is impossible because within Spinoza's system nature is both material and mental with non-teleological nature as the one and only uncaused event, therefore one all-creating mind is out of the question; if the solipsist Mind were anything it would be intentional.

I see the dichotomy as between God and solipsistic , transcendent Mind on the one side, and immanent nature on the other side.

God in any transcendent form is limited by Kant , and Hume. But Spinoza's God(nature) is not transcendent in the least but is wholly immanent.Thus the RCC cleverly banned Spinoza.Even the Jews could not risk having him around.
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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by hilda » May 21st, 2012, 10:47 am

Belinda: "Spinozan philosophy, moreover ,implies that solipsism is impossible because within Spinoza's system nature is both material and mental with non-teleological nature as the one and only uncaused event, therefore one all-creating mind is out of the question; if the solipsist Mind were anything it would be intentional."

I do not think Spinozan philosophy capable of proving solipsims impossible. Certainly if it were true that nature is both material and mental then solipsim would be false because it is so reductive it admits neither other minds nor external matter. They are incompatible. Accepting your account of Spinoza, he could be just as problematic as autism because he seems to be implying nothing is unnatural, contranatural, abreactive or nature phobic. We have a considerable problem with synthetics, especially people who have synthetically survived child birth arteficially due to the post natal industry. So it is as important to shove philosophy into a the madhouse whether one of them writes that autism is the condition of man (solipsism) or writes that both all mentality and all human activity is natural.

Philosophy is nothing more than a few bedlamite conceits and some corrective.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Spectrum » May 24th, 2012, 12:03 am

Belinda wrote:Spectrum wrote:
Spinoza moved to nature and a panentheistic or pantheistic God is definitely more refined than Berkeley's creator God. However as with any God concept, it clashes with Kant's noumenon that limits the existence of God in any form.

Kant in CPR wrote:"If by 'noumenon' we mean a thing so far as it is not an object of our sensible intuition, and so abstract from our mode of intuiting it, this is a noumenon in the negative sense of the term".[20]

As we moved on, one should get rid of the concept of 'noumenon' into 'emptiness'.
Kant follows on with scepticism about the possibility of absolute knowledge, after Hume shot himself in his empiricism foot after his criticism of induction; Kant's view on the noumenous is that what marks the noumenous is what marks the limit of what we can know. But Spinoza has sorted how we can and cannot know things by his 'adequate ideas'. Those are state of the art knowledge including self knowledge and state of the art judgements.Spinozan philosophy, moreover ,implies that solipsism is impossible because within Spinoza's system nature is both material and mental with non-teleological nature as the one and only uncaused event, therefore one all-creating mind is out of the question; if the solipsist Mind were anything it would be intentional.

I see the dichotomy as between God and solipsistic , transcendent Mind on the one side, and immanent nature on the other side.

God in any transcendent form is limited by Kant , and Hume. But Spinoza's God(nature) is not transcendent in the least but is wholly immanent.Thus the RCC cleverly banned Spinoza. Even the Jews could not risk having him around.

I understand Spinoza's view and his God is reducible to an immanent substance or thing within and without. Spinoza's immanent god is definitely not in line with the RCC's personal god which exists and creates solely from without. If the RCC claim omnipresence for their God, then it should rightly be immanent as well. I am aware the RC mystics in contrast to the lay-RCs, accept their God as immanent like that of Spinoza.

There are various constrasting reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.
From my reading of Kant, while the thing-in-itself can be speculated from pure reason, ultimately there is no such 'thing' as a thing-in-itself. As such, a Spinozan-thing-in-itself is an impossibility no matter which way it is conceptualized or actualized.
The above point is from the ultimate perspective in addition to the other valid perspectives, i.e. ordinary, common sense, linguistic, conventional, scientific, etc. which are all valid but conditional.
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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Rockturnal » May 24th, 2012, 12:14 am

As far as I'm concerned; solipsism derives from the ego short-firing.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Jackwhitlocke_005 » June 6th, 2012, 6:30 pm

Thank you all for your replies! So, it seems to me, that if your assumption is that an external world exists solipsism is obviously not an option. But, those who do not begin with that view cannot prove anything beyond their own consciousness. Now the question is this: Do we have good grounds to assume the existence of an independent, external world. Or do we begin with Descartes' "I think, therefore I am"

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Fhbradley » June 7th, 2012, 1:50 am

Jackwhitlocke_005 wrote:Thank you all for your replies! So, it seems to me, that if your assumption is that an external world exists solipsism is obviously not an option. But, those who do not begin with that view cannot prove anything beyond their own consciousness. Now the question is this: Do we have good grounds to assume the existence of an independent, external world. Or do we begin with Descartes' "I think, therefore I am"

How about just dropping the internal/external distinction? That would solve all your problems. The distinction can't be anything but a metaphor anyways.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Jackwhitlocke_005 » June 7th, 2012, 2:05 pm

FH- Why do you consider it a metaphor? Please elaborate on this. Also, the fact remains that idealists cannot escape solipsism without performing some metaphysical maneuvres- had Berekely not believed in God, he would have almost certainly been a skeptic. It seems to me that, for idealists, it is nevessary to invent some metaphysics.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Partinobodycular » July 16th, 2012, 3:18 pm

I happened to be browsing through the forums and came across this thread. As I was not around at the time to contribute to this thread, and being too lazy to compose a whole new response, I thought that I would reference a couple of posts that I have written previously, the first is of one of my earlier posts on this site, the other I posted elsewhere. But I thought them both relevant. As a solipsist I feel no great need to defend my beliefs, but I do feel some sense of responsibility to contribute to people's understanding of the subject, for I am a great believer in the power of truth and understanding.
Partinobodycular wrote:Let me briefly explain my reasoning. Everything that I sense. Everything that I see, feel, hear, smell, or taste, I experience with my mind. But I have no way of knowing if these sensations are real, and their source external to myself, or whether they exist in my consciousness alone. Everything may be an illusion. This doesn't make me feel omnipotent, special, or superior. It makes me feel alone. Because I can never be certain that there is anyone out there, other than me. That is what it truly means to be God, and to be alone. Even if "God" were to suddenly appear before me, performing miracles and wonders, I still would not know if he was real. It's simply impossible to know whether anything exists anywhere other than in my mind.

But this also makes me feel privileged. There is a world, a wonderful world for me to experience. There is pain, and joy, and struggle, and beauty, and boundless mysteries to be explored. And I love them all. I love the pain. I love the struggles. I love life. Because the alternative is to be alone. Really alone. So I embrace this world, be it real or illusion. No matter the consequences or circumstances. I live life as if I am the hero of my own novel. I do what is right and good not because others expect it from me, but because what I choose to create with my life, is all that I have, and I want to make it spectacular. I want to reach its end and be proud. I persevered. I did well. I lived. And it was glorious. No matter if I was a lowly slave, or a privileged king. It was glorious.

The thing is, that if I am wrong, and it is I that disappear when this life is over, and not the other way around, it won't matter. For I will have done well, and I will be happy with my life. And if there is a God and he is unhappy with what I have done, so be it. I make no excuses. I accept all judgments with humility.
Partinobodycular wrote:One would think that Solipsism would produce only apathy. Why should a solipsist care about something that exists only in their mind? I can't speak for other solipsists, I can only speak for myself. I care, because the alternative is to give up hope, to simply turn my back on the world, and slip inexorably into despair, and I can't bring myself to do that, I can't be indifferent, I have tried. Believe me, with all the injustice and hatred in the world, I have tried. You might think that it would be easy for a solipsist to simply block it all out, and pretend it doesn't matter. After all, it's not real anyway, and there's nothing that I can do to change anything. There's no wondrous deed that I can perform, no inspirational words that I can speak. It would be so much simpler if there were such words. But there aren't. So why bother to try, it's so much easier just to be indifferent. But like I say, I've tried. Despite so many reasons not to, I care. Maybe not as openly as some, or as deeply as some, but in my own unassuming way, I care. Solipsism is not a justification for indifference. The hatred and intolerance in this world are reason enough for that.

I realize that Solipsism can be depressing. To think that everything that you love may be only an illusion. All the things that once seemed so certain, may be no more than a dream. All the suffering seems pointless, and all the sacrifices meaningless. All you really know, is loneliness. When you speak, no one answers, when you cry, no one hears. You are the creator of all, and the lord of nothing. Some may choose to believe that you fancy yourself a God, but all that you are is alone. All your noble intentions count for nothing, all your compassion touches no one, all your cries go unheard, save but for yourself. To be a Solipsist is to glimpse, for the briefest of moments, the heart of God, to feel the emptiness that such omniscience brings. To know what solitude truly means. In the words of Edna St Vincent Millay, "For my omniscience paid I toll, in infinite remorse of soul." Only a fool would choose to be a God. Solipsism doesn't feed one's ego, it crushes it.

So what is a solipsist to do? There is no other choice, but to cherish this life. Every last fleeting breath of it. Wrap your arms around it and never let go. Revel in all its diversity. For there is nobility, even in despair. There is beauty, even in suffering. In the hardest of times, and in the cruelest of places, abides the majesty of life. Fantastic, wonderful, glorious life. Full of heartache and remorse, love and triumph. In comfort or in struggle, wonderful, glorious life. It begets strength from adversity, mercy from injustice, and compassion from sorrow. Though others deem it too bitter, let my cup runneth over. Let me never dismiss it, let me embrace it. Be I king or pauper, slave or free, let me love my life. For if the alternative is to be alone, then I choose life, even if only a dream. And when it is over and done, and my journey is through, let me remember it all. Every last majestic sunrise, every sultry summer breeze, every love and every loss. Let me treasure them all. As momentary and illusory as they may be, they are not as nothing, they are everything. They are all that I have. They are.....life.

You ask, "what if solipsism is true and the people I love dont exist?" Oh, as long as you can wrap your arms around them, they exist. As long as you can remember them, they will be. They are your heart and your soul. Without them you have nothing. They give you meaning and purpose. They give substance to you, as much as you give substance to them. Because of them you persevere, because of them you overcome, because of them you are more then you could have ever hoped to be, do not forsake them nor forget them. They are the embodiment of all that you love, and fear, and yearn for. With all their faults and failures they are the best of you, and the least of you. You are reflections of each other. Always, and in all things, cherish them. Solipsism is not a reason to love them less, it is a reason to love them more.

To be a Solipsist is to accept that there are things that you can never know. As steadfastly as you may choose to believe them, you can never truly know. But Solipsism is also the realization of just what a magnificent and miraculous gift life is. For all its trials and tribulations, life is a miraculous thing, whether by the hand of God, the fortuitous result of chance, or the product of a solitary mind, life is a miraculous thing. No matter the cost or circumstance, cherish it.
Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Hereandnow » July 23rd, 2012, 8:07 pm

Interesting line of thought here. If I may take a different direction. Skeptics start off by looking for the truth and they ony find themselves. There is a jumping of point that is missed. At that moment when one turns her gaze at you, my friend, and affirms that you are merely a host of neurons in play, a phenomenon only, and one cannot leave this place of mental play (interesting way to put it: how does one "get out"?) then one can ask those same questions that have been obviated by doubt in the other, of oneself, and in this weird interiority, there you are, and you can affirm this intuitively (please allow for this). Question: Do YOU exist? And I don't mean by logical slight of hand ( I am always suspicious of discursivity, as Foucault puts it. There is distraction here), ala Descarte; I mean can you find your own existence? A fascinating existential moment, for there are your thoughts, there is your inquiring mind, and you are somehow there. And if you can only find thoughts, intentional relationships with them and feeling and memories, ask youself: where are these thoughts? what is their substance--not to ask anatomically but, if you can stand it, existentially: after all, the inquiry is not looking for words of classification; indeed, there lies a very big problem, which is ridding ourselves of the intrusion of language. This is intuitive engagement (and again, to the rubbish heap with implicit discursivity!). All explicit language is in abeyance, ready made time and space fall away and words lose there application. Here, in this strange space, you do not know where you are, but the affirmation you seek is closer than it has ever been. And it is affirmation that one needs to find the path out of solipcism (Descarte was right here.)

-- Updated July 23rd, 2012, 8:17 pm to add the following --

Partinobodycular: I read your post and when you wax sentimental like that I realize you have touched upon something very important. It simply does not matter that I cannot prove the existence of others, the conditions of life remain. You agree with some very dense philosophy that says that these conditions that remain are all there is anyway. Just remove the duality!! Dualistic ways of thinking are of no avail; in fact, they are nothing but paradoxes and problems. Yeah, all of the human intensity is still there regardless.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Jackwhitlocke_005 » July 28th, 2012, 11:01 pm

Parinobodycular- That is an interesting response. Are you actually a solipsist? Even skeptics like Hume weren't solipsistic. It seems to me that a non-solipsistic explanation of the world is far more likely than a solipsistic one.

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Partinobodycular » July 29th, 2012, 3:44 am

Jackwhitlocke_005 wrote:Are you actually a solipsist?
When I first read this question I was like, what do you mean "am I actually a solipsist"? How could I not be a solipsist? It's not a matter of choice. I am a solipsist, because I am a solipsist. The only thing that I can know with absolute certainty, is that I am. This is the truth, it isn't a matter of choice. All I can know is that I am, and that by definition means that I'm a solipsist.

I'm not anti-social or bitter. It's not that I reject everything, it's simply that I question everything. It's not enough that you say that something is true. I want to know, how you know that it is true. You can claim that there is a God, but how do you know that there is a God. You can claim that the world exists when you're not looking at it, but how do you know that it exists when you're not looking at it? How do you know that it exists at all? The world is a very ethereal place. Things are not as substantive and certain as they may at first appear. To the point that it is not unreasonable to question their very existence. And so I ask myself, if this world were only an illusion, how would I know. The answer is, the closer I look the more I will find that there is nothing there. My mind will always be able to create another layer to the illusion, and another, and another, but in the end I would find that illusion is all that there is.

But if the world is only an illusion, then what is its purpose? This too I do not know. Perhaps it is simply here so that I will not be alone, or perhaps it serves a higher purpose. Perhaps it is here to teach me, or test me. Whatever its purpose, I have a choice as to how I wish to live. I can choose to live as if life is a burden, or I can choose to live as if life is a gift. I choose to live as if it is a gift. If it is an illusion then nothing can really harm me and there is nothing to fear. If it is not an illusion and I shall one day return to the dust from which I came, then there is no point in struggling or complaining, the glory lies simply in persevering, for the world is..... what the world is, and I cannot change it. But it is still a gift.

I can contemplate where the world came from, and what its purpose might be, but in the end I do not know. What I do know is that its value lies in how I choose to live it.
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What kind of solipsism?

Post by Freddemalte » March 30th, 2013, 5:35 am

What kind of solipsism?

1) The world is the same as (and only) what constitutes "your phenomenology", a sort of state that constitute a sort of illusion if "a self" being in a world.

Comment: This variant can (it seems) not be refuted by any "clever arguments". In this variant, there exists no "beyond" (noumena) the (apparent) experience or experienced "self”.

2) The world is your mental activities (you are the world).

Comment: This variant of solipsism is the one that often comes up in various forums or encyclopedias. This variant seems a bit "paradoxical" and the notion "absurd" and has a number of question marks attached to it. Probably much easier to refute because it "carries" elements from non-solipsism like the phenomenon of "the psychological self." In this variant, it is assumed to exist "certain phenomena" beyond the solipsist self (noumena) and where you explain it then with these beyond-phenomenon would be the subconscious of the solipsist self. This theory seems to say the least ad hoc and not very well thought through. It is customary to also mention that you "created everything" and "controls everything" (even though you are not aware of it).

3) The world is non-solipsistisk in terms of TEW (Theory If an external world) is correct, and the realism is so true. You happen to be the only creature (or at least human) as "gifted" with consciousness in the sense that the rest of the world population are so-called "philosophical zombies".

Comment: This is something that is extremely difficult to refute because we (so far) has no effective and convincing method to examine whether "the other" has "its own experience" or "the other" just "acting" as if she had it”.

4) Phenomenology / outlook-point solipsism. The fact that no one else can be you and thus your own life-experiences is solipsistic in terms that no one else can experience them.

Comment: This we experience every day, more or less, but calls it mostly for subjectivity (subjective experience), but if one delves into the idea more closely, you notice that you actually live a solipsistiskt life just that it is only you who can be experienced how it is to be you.

5) Concrete / hands-solipsism. Example: To go and listen to music in headphones can only be experienced by "self", so that one might call "headphones listening" for a solipsistiskt phenomenon. Just for example pain, which can only be experienced by the subject. So it is a kind solipsistisk experience that for example, have a headache (because it can never be shared with "the other").

6) In the above " variants of solipsim" is quite different models for how you could possibly be solo (alone), but you can also split solipsismen from philosophical approach to time is split as follows:

a) Metaphysical (ontological) solipsism: You are actually alone.

b) Epistemological solipsism: You can not through knowledge know anything other than your own state of consciousness (what you feel or experience = your phenomenology).

Best regards Fredrik

PS: Excuse my poor english - I'm from Sweden :roll:

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by windowhelperpro » February 20th, 2018, 10:50 pm

Epistemological solipsism is the only coherent form of solipsism.

Epistemological solipsism: The only certainty in the universe is yourself, an external world is regarded as an unsolvable question.

Argument
1.Reality is solely a product of our senses.
2. Senses can be manipulated or defected.
3.There is no rational argument to prove that manipulated or defective senses are further from the objective truth than ours.
C1.Hence there is no way to be certain that any piece of information can bring you closer to the truth.
1. You are thinking about these thoughts and processing information.
2. You can be certain about the fact you exist, as you are thinking.
C2. Hence you are the only certainty in the universe.

Concrete solipsism: You are the only existing being in the universe, everything is co-existent.

Argument
1.Reality is solely a product of our senses.
2. Senses can be manipulated or defected.
3.There is no rational argument to prove that manipulated or defective senses are further from the objective truth than ours.
C1. Hence nothing exists!
1. You are thinking about these thoughts and processing information.
2. You can be certain about the fact you exist, as you are thinking.
C2. Hence nothing exists without you, there is a 100% certainty that everybody co-exists.

One is an extreme view of the other!

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Re: An argument for solipsism

Post by Windrammer » April 18th, 2018, 4:05 am

Jackwhitlocke_005 wrote:
May 6th, 2012, 3:57 am
1. We experience all things through the mind 2.Other people are experienced only through the mind 3.Other being cannot be known to exist outside the mind

Any criticism/ counter arguments are welcome. Just please don't respond with "If you are a solipsist then you don't believe I exist, so why are you asking this?" I am not a solipsist. This is simply a discussion of an argument for solipsism.
1. If other beings don't exist, then as far as we know nothing exists as we perceive it 2. if this is the case then reality is either fundamentally absurd or the truth is fundamentally inaccessible to us 3. there is no longer any possibility for reliable logic 4. the proposition of solipsism loses its basis and thus disproves itself

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