Home Discussion Forum Does a solipsist believe that only he/she has true consciousness?

Does a solipsist believe that only he/she has true consciousness?

And that the universe will cease to exist when they die?

6 COMMENTS

  1. *That …… only a solip…t will know !!~~
    Since i’m not one, don’t really know what those people really think !!
    A rational human will never believe such a thing !!~☺

  2. That would seem to be right – taking your position as metaphysical solipsism.
    One has to wonder where the solipsist seems to think his or her perceptions of a seeming external reality come from however. If I am all that exists, and if I have no knowledge of being the thing that generates what I perceives as an external world, then where does this perceived world come from?

  3. “I have just become a solipsist and I am loving it. I can’t figure out why more people aren’t doing it.” —Russell
    Solipsism is perhaps the one position in the history of philosophy that no person has truly held. Maybe Gorgias. When one philosopher calls another philosopher a solipsist, or speaks of solipsism at all, it is typically meant as a threat or a joke.
    This being said there are two forms of solipsism:
    1. Vulgar solipsism is the belief that you stated above. This is vulgar because it assumes that one can really “get up there” and say that this is an absolute. It is also a problem because to say that this is an “absolute” in a vulgar solipsism is a contradiction. If I am all that exists, then I make absolutes what they are. Everything is relative to me and that is absolute. Well then isn’t the absolute fact that everything is relative to me relative?
    2. rational solipsism- we cannot “know” that others and the universe exists outside of us. There is no way to “get up there.” We can only give a conjecture that they do or not, but it is always an open ended question. This is what bothered Kant so much. In an argument like this we are left with a sense of aporia (placelessness) for we cannot say anything definite; we have no ground to stand on.
    In answer to your question, one form of solipsism would say this.
    Gorgias has an interesting set of propositions relating to this:
    1. Nothing exists.
    2. If anything exists, it cannot be known.
    3. If it can be known, then it cannot be communicated.
    This is, to my knowledge, the closest any philosopher ever came to stating that the universe does not exist. However, given that it is a fragment of an ancient document, it is unclear if Gorgias really believed it.

  4. Most people who identify themselves as solipsists are a lot less extreme than that. A more common interpretation is that the only thing one can ever know is one’s own mind, which must be a starting point for understanding everything else. So basically, it’s a philosophy of what psychologists would call ‘projecting’.

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