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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Solipsism

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  • Solipsism

    Honestly, I'm quite troubled, even on a psychological level, by the doctrine of Solipsism. It's the ONLY philosophical system or enterprise that withstands all refutations and objections, and is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable.

    But being a true believer in Solipsism, or even considering it a real possibility, is potentially life-threatening. Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?

    Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Seeker View Post
    Honestly, I'm quite troubled, even on a psychological level, by the doctrine of Solipsism. It's the ONLY philosophical system or enterprise that withstands all refutations and objections, and is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable.

    But being a true believer in Solipsism, or even considering it a real possibility, is potentially life-threatening.
    Being a true believer, yes. Considering it a real possibility, no.

    Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?
    If you're sure the world around you doesn't exist, then there is no reason to do all those things. I just don't see how anyone could be so sure of that.

    Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?
    Because we might be wrong.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Seeker View Post
      Honestly, I'm quite troubled, even on a psychological level, by the doctrine of Solipsism. It's the ONLY philosophical system or enterprise that withstands all refutations and objections, and is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable.

      But being a true believer in Solipsism, or even considering it a real possibility, is potentially life-threatening. Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?

      Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?
      I agree that Solipsism is the most consistent Philosophical system there is. Why go on? Because we all have a strong desire to survive even if there is a disconnect between our philosophy and possible reality. Even in Solipsism there still exists the world of the mind - I suspect that is preferable to nothingness.
      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Seeker View Post
        Honestly, I'm quite troubled, even on a psychological level, by the doctrine of Solipsism. It's the ONLY philosophical system or enterprise that withstands all refutations and objections, and is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable.
        Hey Seeker!
        Mmhhh, a couple of things I'd like for you to consider:


        - That you are feeling troubled paints me the impression that you are what Ludwig Wittgenstein referred to as solipsistic temptation, and admittedly, for a thinker, it is heavy thing to ponder about.
        - Unless you've actually and exhaustively explored ALL metaphysical prepositions that can be devised, Solipsism is hardly a candidate to be considered the ONLY philosophical/enterprise that withstands all objections. As far as I am concerned, I know of no philosopher or academic that seriously contends that Solipsism is full-proof, and looking at it's arguments themselves hardly automatically merits the qualification of "un-objectionable" by default.
        - Arguments for the varying degrees of Solipsism are highly compelling, yes, that is their strength. However, do not treat philosophical matters as things that are "refutable". Philosophers and their statements hardly ever "refute" or even "debunk" other philosophers and their statements as if they could be reduced to simple true vs false things, and Solipsism is hardly an exception to that. It is far from being an irrefutable thing, and there are still compelling reasons to actually not accept. - Not exactly a critique, and admittedly not a perfect or perfectly compelling (in criticizing solipsism) argument, but the Wittgenstein's thought experiment of "Private Language" gives great and compelling food for thought to contemplate language and rational certainty of other minds apart of one's own.

        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/p...age/#KriSceWit


        But being a true believer in Solipsism, or even considering it a real possibility, is potentially life-threatening. Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?

        Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?
        If you choose to believe or succumb to a solipsistic mentality, you will still end up running into ways that it will produce tremendous in satisfaction and possibly anguish, both in the impractical and practical realms of things, there's no way around it. How you cope with it will be important. But here's something to consider: Even if Solipsism is irrefutable, neither is it something that merits it to be treated as the metaphysical "default" of knowing things, and in realizing that, you could say that it provides, for lack of better term, an "escape" of sorts. I recommend you give Ludwig Wittgenstein interactions with Solipsism, and the dialectic he used to interact with it, a dialectic that neither refutes nor endorses solipsism. It should give you greater illumination on where you will wish to rest your mental certainties on.

        Here's a text to get you started:

        https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?scr...52012000200001

        And if you get the chance, Philosophical Remarks by Ludwig Wittgenstein is a good read (even if can only find fragments of it), which should expose you to the grander realm of thought (especially on the field of metaphysics and linguistics) that this old Austrian interacted with in his day.
        Last edited by Andius; 12-01-2020, 05:23 PM.
        Ladino, Guatemalan, Hispanic, and Latin, but foremostly, Christian.
        As of the 1st of December, 2020, officially anointed as this:

        "Seinfeld had its Soup Nazi. Tweb has its Taco Nazi." - Rogue06 , https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...e3#post1210559

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Seeker View Post
          Honestly, I'm quite troubled, even on a psychological level, by the doctrine of Solipsism. It's the ONLY philosophical system or enterprise that withstands all refutations and objections, and is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable.

          But being a true believer in Solipsism, or even considering it a real possibility, is potentially life-threatening. Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?

          Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?
          I don't see the problem, I would be much more worried about this being an ancestor simulator or a prison world of some type than a solipsistic fantasy, why this fantasy rather than any other?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Seeker View Post
            Why should we eat, drink, sleep, have sex, and any other things if they (can) possibly NOT exist, and all of this world be a by-product of our minds?

            Why should we bother or care about anything at all in the face of Solipsism?
            All our experiences are just as real to us whether or not they exist independently of us.

            Pain still hurts, pleasure still feels good, regardless of whether the world itself is all in my head.

            If solipsism is true, the reasons for doing things are pretty much identical to all the reasons for doing things if solipsism were false (There are probably some edge cases around euthanasia / a greater willingness to 'kill' oneself to avoid serious pain if one doesn't believe it's going to be a final death).

            Personally, I think the most likely scenario is that we are all inside a fully immersive massively-multiplayer computer game. That's a view close-ish to solipsism and I can't think of a single way it's had any impact on how I act. Perhaps it makes me a bit less scared of dying than I might otherwise be, hard to say.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zara View Post

              I don't see the problem, I would be much more worried about this being an ancestor simulator or a prison world of some type than a solipsistic fantasy, why this fantasy rather than any other?
              The point is that any other reality than the one the natural sciences and/or our apparent ''shared'' physical one are, would be pretty scary. The mere fact that we apparently can't trust our ''senses'' is already very bothersome, to me at least.
              Last edited by Seeker; 01-29-2021, 01:53 AM.

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