Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Goodbye Solipsism

I would like to summarize as clearly and concisely my final argument against solipsism, for the sake of brevity trying to dispense with all the minor details I’ve laid out in my previous blogs on this topic:

1-     I accept that I am solipsistic; I am all there is and everything that is, is me.

2-     My solipsism causes within me a desire to know certain fundamental things about myself; why I am solipsistic and/or how the world (which is me) can be the way it appears.

3-     Despite how strong my desire is for answers about my fundamental nature, I am unable to imagine any reason why I am solipsistic. There cannot be a completely subconscious reason why I am solipsistic if my conscious mind can overpower – to an extent, at least – parts of my being that are reflexive. So, I must be able to know, at least in part, why I am solipsistic but I do not. [The possible objection here is that ‘why’ I am solipsistic is looking for an answer that involves intelligent reasoning. If my intelligence, my ability to reason, etc. are all an illusion, then asking ‘why’ I am solipsistic is not a legitimate question.]

4-     Despite how strong my desire is for answers about my fundamental nature, I am unable to imagine how I can be solipsistic. If I am everything that constitutes the world, the universe, etc., there has to be an explanation for how I arrived at the state I am in. If there is no explanation, if I ‘just am’ then everything just is and requires no explanation since it appears that it cannot be the case that some things or events require an explanation whereas others do not. Although I am willing to hear an argument to the contrary, nothing which is me has provided such an argument. [An untenable objection here is that I may not need to know how a car works in order to accept the existence of a car, meaning, I need not know how I am solipsistic in order to accept that I am solipsistic. However, it is possible for me to know how a car works provided I study to that end; it is possible for me to know the how of anything regardless of how complicated the given subject is. But this does not appear to be possible when considering one’s own solipsism.]

5-     Any other possible explanation that is intelligible for how my mind can make it appear as though it is the entirety of the world must be an explanation that involves input to myself (through what appears to be my sensory apparatus’) from somewhere outside the boundaries of my mind. So, it cannot be the case that my mind, essentially my being, is the only existent thing. [My argument does not suggest the existence of other minds; it is only meant to strongly suggest I am not the only existent thing.]

Of course, the very idea of solipsism may be a contrivance of language. While I may consider myself an individual with some sort of boundary between myself and the world around me, do I not consider at times the universe to be a solitary whole with myself included along with it? I do this as well as other alleged minds, and we never seem to be satisfied with such a view; as soon as we consider the universe as a whole, we go on imagining what lies beyond the universe or imagine other universes altogether. So, it may be unintelligible to question what is a thing and what is not, in which case language has put me and you so far away from the nature of reality that seeking the truth becomes masochistic.

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