Solipsism

For all things philosophical.

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:01 am

Dubious wrote:
Dubious wrote:It all depends on what side of my face I'm looking at. One side says You're the only one, the other says, think again!
Greta wrote:That may be because we are not just one thing. Aside from being a self and a world to microorganisms, we are also sub-components of many larger groups ranging from family to community to society to humanity, the biosphere, the Earth, the galaxy etc. That's confusing because we feel like we are all one thing.
Usually when I feel like only one thing, the word that best describes it starts with I and ends with T. This reduced sense of identity forgoes a lot of complications.
Do you mean thinking of yourself as a thing rather than a person?

I find it strange to think of us animals as being entire worlds for our microbes. We are demigods, all of us, but we don't much care, just as long as the microbes don't mess up. About the only layers of ourselves with any real cares about us are own own selves and family/friends, and neither of them are guaranteed either. The care factor between state and individual is shrinking fast as the former increasingly pressures its constituents.

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dubious » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:09 am

Dubious wrote:Usually when I feel like only one thing, the word that best describes it starts with I and ends with T. This reduced sense of identity forgoes a lot of complications.
Greta wrote:Do you mean thinking of yourself as a thing rather than a person?

I find it strange to think of us animals as being entire worlds for our microbes. We are demigods, all of us, but we don't much care, just as long as the microbes don't mess up. About the only layers of ourselves with any real cares about us are own own selves and family/friends, and neither of them are guaranteed either. The care factor between state and individual is shrinking fast as the former increasingly pressures its constituents.
An interesting interpretation I haven't thought of and quite generous compared to the one I had in mind. I was really thinking of the 'dio' component between I & T referring to what I often feel like if I feel only one thing. But in considering what you said it can also be interpreted as a means of resetting oneself for another mental launch.

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:13 am

Aha! You learn something new every day. I'm actually quite close to that, but do accept that other things exist, as they persist after being otherwise outside my awareness. So, I can't be one then, can I. Thanks for bringing this up. I will add though, that once I'm gone, I won't give a shit about the rest of those persistent things.

There is thought, and there are things.

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:13 am

Dubious wrote:
Dubious wrote:Usually when I feel like only one thing, the word that best describes it starts with I and ends with T. This reduced sense of identity forgoes a lot of complications.
Greta wrote:Do you mean thinking of yourself as a thing rather than a person?

I find it strange to think of us animals as being entire worlds for our microbes. We are demigods, all of us, but we don't much care, just as long as the microbes don't mess up. About the only layers of ourselves with any real cares about us are own own selves and family/friends, and neither of them are guaranteed either. The care factor between state and individual is shrinking fast as the former increasingly pressures its constituents.
An interesting interpretation I haven't thought of and quite generous compared to the one I had in mind. I was really thinking of the 'dio' component between I & T referring to what I often feel like if I feel only one thing. But in considering what you said it can also be interpreted as a means of resetting oneself for another mental launch.
Ah, I see :)

In metaphysical terms it might also have been innocent, infant, imprint, insect, ingot (as in being a little treasure), itinerant ...

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:15 am

Dalek Prime wrote:I will add though, that once I'm gone, I won't give a shit about the rest of those persistent things.
Perhaps only because that makes the feeling mutual. If those persistent things gave a shit about you (and others), would you feel differently about them?

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Re: Solipsism

Post by gurugeorge » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:37 am

The problematic around solipsism can arise from two sorts of reflections, the idea that what we perceive in the first instance is mental, and the idea that the totality of my experience could be "like a dream". But the latter is just a poetic way of saying the former.

If you don't think that perceptions and experiences are what you perceive and experience, the problem doesn't arise.

I think actually that the notion of sensation/perception as what we perceive probably arose with the development of artistic perspective during the Renaissance, and a certain way of looking at aesthetic perception.

Artists and photographers are able to mentally detach the flat "look" of things from knowledge of them. Paradigmatically, "primitive" artists would draw things their "proper" size even if they were on the horizon (I exaggerate but you get the point). The development of the idea of perspective and an "accurate" pictorial (later photographic) representation was at the same time a learned knack to detach the "look" or "aspect" of things from what we know of the reality of things. I think this bled through to scientists (e.g. Galileo) and philosophers during the 17th century and led to the representationalist turn in modern philosophy, in which this aesthetic "look" of things was reified to be a kind of independently existing thing, the mental object, which is the thing we're supposedly immediately aware of; which then led to the sceptical problematic in its modern form (how do you get from these supposed immediately experienced objects of experience, to the mediately experienced objects of the world?)

The parallel thing in Eastern non-dual mystical systems is also interesting - again, it's experiencing things aesthetically, momentarily bracketing what you know about them. cf. the Daoist Zhuangzi's famous "am I a butterfly dreaming I'm a man or a man dreaming I'm a butterfly?", probably the most well-known saying from that line of thought. But there are acres of passages in systems like Zen, Dzogchen, etc., which seem to point to something similar - a bracketing or suspension of what you know, and pure imbibing of experience as a sort of sheer presence of its own.

Once you imagine that we really do perceive a sort of "flat screen" of perceptions (or more primitively, colour patches, etc.) as reified mental things interposed between us and the world, then the whole problematic of modern Western philosophy, with its Scylla of solipsism and Charybdis of global scepticism, arises logically. If you don't take that view and take the objects of perception to be simply mind-independent objects in the first instance, it doesn't come up.

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:05 pm

Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I will add though, that once I'm gone, I won't give a shit about the rest of those persistent things.
Perhaps only because that makes the feeling mutual. If those persistent things gave a shit about you (and others), would you feel differently about them?
.
These persistent thing don't feel, and I don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing them. On that alone, you'll understand if I don't take your question seriously. (Note that I'm speaking of things, not people.) Otherwise, to answer your question, of course I wouldn't feel differently, because once I'm gone, I won't feel.
Last edited by Dalek Prime on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Trajk Logik
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Trajk Logik » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:25 pm

If Solipsism were true, then why would language and communication be an idea or concept that the solipsist could even come to imagine? How would such an idea arise within it's solipsist mind?

If Solipsism were true, then I am the solipsist and all of you aren't even human beings. You all are just text on a computer screen.

If Solipsism were true, then why do I experience commercials and marketing ploys for people that don't exist and that have nothing to do with any of my wants or needs? In other words, as a male solipsist, why would I ever experience commercials for tampons?

If Solipsism were true, then language itself becomes meaningless because words don't point to anything outside of your own experience.

We are all born solipsists. It isn't until we develop an understanding of object permanence that we abandon that worldview in favor of the realist world view, where your mother still exits even when you don't see her, and can call her and she can hear you even when you don't experience her at that moment.

Oh, and then there's this:
http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=972

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:12 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:
Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I will add though, that once I'm gone, I won't give a shit about the rest of those persistent things.
Perhaps only because that makes the feeling mutual. If those persistent things gave a shit about you (and others), would you feel differently about them?
.
These persistent thing don't feel, and I don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing them. On that alone, you'll understand if I don't take your question seriously. (Note that I'm speaking of things, not people.) Otherwise, to answer your question, of course I wouldn't feel differently, because once I'm gone, I won't feel.
You misunderstood what I was saying but that's okay. It's not important.

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:14 pm

Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:
Greta wrote: Perhaps only because that makes the feeling mutual. If those persistent things gave a shit about you (and others), would you feel differently about them?
.
These persistent thing don't feel, and I don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing them. On that alone, you'll understand if I don't take your question seriously. (Note that I'm speaking of things, not people.) Otherwise, to answer your question, of course I wouldn't feel differently, because once I'm gone, I won't feel.
You misunderstood what I was saying but that's okay. It's not important.
It is important. I don't want to misunderstand you, and not give you a fair hearing. Not that I'm trying to oblige you to explain, however.

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:39 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:It is important. I don't want to misunderstand you, and not give you a fair hearing. Not that I'm trying to oblige you to explain, however.
More that the subject is not very important to me. I'm one of those dull people who believes in the dull, commonsense version of reality, so I find solipsism a little odd, although thinking about the notion has triggered interesting ideas in me at times.

My earlier point, albeit too oblique, referred to one particular system - that of human society (hence "anthropomorphism" - I was referring to human social structures). What if society was more caring, equitable and environmentally aware and interested? Would you then think differently about the worthiness of existence?

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:43 pm

Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:It is important. I don't want to misunderstand you, and not give you a fair hearing. Not that I'm trying to oblige you to explain, however.
More that the subject is not very important to me. I'm one of those dull people who believes in the dull, commonsense version of reality, so I find solipsism a little odd, although thinking about the notion has triggered interesting ideas in me at times.

My earlier point, albeit too oblique, referred to one particular system - that of human society (hence "anthropomorphism" - I was referring to human social structures). What if society was more caring, equitable and environmentally aware and interested? Would you then think differently about the worthiness of existence?
I'm not saying existence isn't worth it once started. I'm saying starting a new existence isnt worth it.

PS. Here's an example of your caring society. Some guy didn't care that I was crossing the road on a green, and laughed that he would have driven right over me. I've called the police with his plate number.

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:I'm not saying existence isn't worth it once started. I'm saying starting a new existence isn't worth it.

PS. Here's an example of your caring society. Some guy didn't care that I was crossing the road on a green, and laughed that he would have driven right over me. I've called the police with his plate number.
That's my point. Society isn't caring. But what if it was? If you were raised, and lived, in a world where humans were routinely compassionate and sincere, including the polity. Would you still have a problem with new life?

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Re: Solipsism

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:56 pm

Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I'm not saying existence isn't worth it once started. I'm saying starting a new existence isn't worth it.

PS. Here's an example of your caring society. Some guy didn't care that I was crossing the road on a green, and laughed that he would have driven right over me. I've called the police with his plate number.
That's my point. Society isn't caring. But what if it was? If you were raised, and lived, in a world where humans were routinely compassionate and sincere, including the polity. Would you still have a problem with new life?
Yes, but I'd argue for antinatalism a little less. Relating back to Benatarian asymmetry, not being still comes out ahead, if only for its neutrality. I can't ignore that.

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Greta
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Re: Solipsism

Post by Greta » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:06 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:
Greta wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I'm not saying existence isn't worth it once started. I'm saying starting a new existence isn't worth it.

PS. Here's an example of your caring society. Some guy didn't care that I was crossing the road on a green, and laughed that he would have driven right over me. I've called the police with his plate number.
That's my point. Society isn't caring. But what if it was? If you were raised, and lived, in a world where humans were routinely compassionate and sincere, including the polity. Would you still have a problem with new life?
Yes, but I'd argue for antinatalism a little less. Relating back to Benatarian asymmetry, not being still comes out ahead, if only for its neutrality. I can't ignore that.
I'll stick with "it depends", personally.

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