So spake Wikipedia:

8 05 2006

Most definitely recommended, as per my experiences:

Something else. Note the last line:

Solipsism (from the Latin ipse = “self” and solus = “alone”) is an extreme form of skepticism, saying that nothing exists beyond oneself and one’s immediate experiences. More generally, it is the epistemological belief that one’s self is the only thing that can be known with certainty and verified (sometimes called egoism). Solipsism is also commonly understood to encompass the metaphysical belief that only one’s self exists, and that “existence” just means being a part of one’s own mental states — all objects, people, etc, that one experiences are merely parts of one’s own mind. Solipsism is first recorded with the presocratic sophist Gorgias (c. 483375 BC) who is quoted by Sextus Empiricus as having stated:

  1. Nothing exists
  2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it, and
  3. Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others

Solipsism is generally identified with statements 2 and 3 from Gorgias.

But, in introducing methodological doubt (via Cogito ergo sum) into philosophy, Descartes created the backdrop against which modern interpretations of solipsism subsequently developed and were made to seem, if not plausible, at least irrefutable.

Solipsism is logically coherent, but not falsifiable, so it is not testable by current modes of the scientific method.




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