Epistemic Solipsism

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Epistemic Solipsism

Postby Santiago » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:17 pm

Many people dismiss, out of hand, the philosophical position of solipsism. When they hear the word "solipsism", they immediately laugh in derision. The joke, however, is ultimately on them, as solipsism is the veritable default position in epistemology. Apart from the knee-jerk reactions, it seems like a lot of individuals are ignorant on the subject. Many have this misconception that there is only one form of solipsism, which happens to be some bizzare, radical strain of the philosophy, that posits that the only person who exists is the solipsist himself. This is not, actually, what most philosophical solipsists assert. What they argue is that the only thing that you can, really, be sure of, or have certain knowledge of, is your own conscious experience of existing. You never, actually, experience other people existing (their subjectivity); you merely perceive outward appearances of what are deemed to be other people. It's conceivable that you could be in a cosmic simulation, a sort of very lucid and well organized dream. The supposed other people, who you perceive, could possibly be phantom projections. This also applies to the universe.

So, with all of this in mind, the true starting point of knowledge is the conscious self. Everything outside of this is questionable in regards to having an objective existence. Questionable, it should be noted, does not mean that solipsists claim that x or y does not exist at all, with certain knowledge. Questionable, literally, means just questionable. It is possible that x or y does exist independently of the mind of the solipsist, but it is also possible that x or y does not exist objectively. This being the case, the only thing that you can know, for certain, of existing is your own self, or mind and the contents thereof.

The conscious mind, or the self, is the default position, the starting point of knowledge.
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Re: Epistemic Solipsism

Postby MagsJ » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:42 am

Solipsism is but fleeting moments, in between being not so..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

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Re: Epistemic Solipsism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:46 am

Solipsism is sometimes expressed as the view that "I am the only mind which exists," or "My mental states are the only mental states."

However, the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust might truly come to believe in either of these propositions without thereby being a solipsist.

Solipsism is therefore more properly regarded as the doctrine that, in principle, "existence" means for me my existence and that of my mental states. Existence is everything that I experience -- physical objects, other people, events and processes -- anything that would commonly be regarded as a constituent of the space and time in which I coexist with others and is necessarily construed by me as part of the content of my consciousness.

No great philosopher has espoused solipsism. As a theory, if indeed it can be termed such, it is clearly very far removed from common sense.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/


Note:

7. The Incoherence of Solipsism
With the belief in the essential privacy of experience eliminated as false, the last presupposition underlying solipsism is removed and solipsism is shown as foundationless, in theory and in fact.
https://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/#H7


Santiago wrote:So, with all of this in mind, the true starting point of knowledge is the conscious self. Everything outside of this is questionable in regards to having an objective existence.

There are many other philosophical views proposing the above, i.e. from the philosophical anti-realists such as Kant, the Buddha, Protagoras [ "Man is the measure of all things"], and others.
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Re: Epistemic Solipsism

Postby Santiago » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:39 pm

MagsJ,

what do you mean exactly?

Prismatic567,

I didn't see any sort of valid refutation of solipsism in your excerpts posted in this thread. All I saw were, essentially, veiled adhominen attacks and appeals to popularity. Not only this, but the author of those excerpts, basically, reinforced an erroneous conception of solipsism, by focusing on the radical, narcissistic strain of solipsism, which most serious, philosophical solipsists don't even adhere to.

Legitimate solipsism is not about the phrase "I am the only mind that exists"; that is a gnostic claim that would require the individual to, somehow, climb out of their own mind and objectively look to see if there were other people existing or not. Real Solipsism is, rather, about the phrase "My mind is the only one that I can, unquestionably, be certain of. It's possible that others minds exist, apart from mine, but there is no way to be 100 percent certain of this."

Gnostic Solipsism is of the first phrase, "I am the only mind that exists". It implies certain knowledge of the non-existence of other people, a self-refuting position.

Agnostic Solipsism, on the other hand, and the position that I argue for, does NOT claim certain knowledge of the non-existence of other people. Instead, it posits that their existence is questionable, that they may or may not exist.

I do believe that other people exist, but I don't claim to know with 100 percent certainty, because I never, actually, experience their subjectivity; I just perceive outward appearances. It's conceivable that they could be phantom simulations. Hence, their existence is questionable.
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Re: Epistemic Solipsism

Postby MagsJ » Wed May 22, 2019 4:43 am

Solipsism is but fleeting moments, in between being not so..

Santiago wrote:MagsJ,

what do you mean exactly?

The tendency to feel solipsistic is contained within us all when we are absorbed with self, but reality kicks in.. like a paused movie that is slowly wound up back into play, and the sound of merry-go-rounds and the sights and smells of the circus can once again be seen and heard.. so a fluctuating, but not necessarily fleeting state, if you will.

I think it is defining of new experiences, that take over our senses and immerse us into our selves.. a pleasurable PTSD or shock to the system, if you will, that is all-encompassing to the point that it becomes all-consuming.. as in the trip to the circus example, of being immersed in the moment, for those few hours and beyond.

Such events aren't just a trip, they're a journey, a journey for one.. as one's companion is equally immersed in their own private journey for one.

There is comfort in solipsism, in the fact that one doesn't have to take another's whims and wants on, for what is in another's mind stays in another's mind.

Solipsism.. the natural default setting? rewired.. to be not so, by education and vocation for the utility of society.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

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