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Thread: Epistemological Solipsism

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    Epistemological Solipsism

    I was getting lost on wiki in a web of interesting philosophies, and stumbled upon some things that I've wondered myself.

    Every heard of Solipsism or more specifically Epistemological Solipsism?

    From the latter, I found this text: "Epistemological solipsists claim that realism begs the question: assuming there is a universe that is independent of the agent's mind, the agent can only ever know of this universe through its senses. How is the existence of the independent universe to be scientifically studied? If a person sets up a camera to photograph the moon when they are not looking at it, then at best they determine that there is an image of the moon in the camera when they eventually look at it. Logically, this does not assure that the moon itself (or even the camera) existed at the time the photograph is supposed to have been taken. To establish that it is an image of an independent moon requires many other assumptions that amount to begging the question."

    I'm interested in peoples thoughts on this. (Or being a potential solipsist myself, I should probably say, i'm interested in a discussion on this)

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    My head hurts just reading that
    Good luck

    but I truly believe that some people overthink existence.
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    I think technically solipsism qualifies as unfalsifiable speculation, and therefore scientifically uninteresting.

    Though I recall a phase as a teenager when having discovered it, we took pleasure in referring to everything and everybody as "figments".

    I had a strange childhood in some ways.

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    I'm too busy getting on with what is left of my life to wonder if I, and everything around me, exists. On your own with this one!
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I think philosophy tended in this direction several hundred years ago. Then most people decided that they they could't prove that philosophers were real or not so they chose to ignore them - and in most cases they just vanished. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint) the real world did not.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    So, does it mean that "cogito, ergo sum" is up for grabs?
    Verbs! They're just an adjunct to existence. Get rid of 'em, and let's have a world of only nouns.
    I suppose that would then reduce "status quo" to just "status".
    Hmm!
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    ^ haha, wot!

    I think the interesting thing to take from this, is that it gives meaning to the idea of how you create your own life for yourself.
    So rather than getting lost in a mundane life with a boring job, you realise you can do whatever you want with your life, live it to the full etc.
    And as long as you're enjoying youself, whatever "yourself" may be, the true existence of an external life becomes a mostly irrelevent issue.
    But yes i suppose you would argue that, if you were the soul being in existence, then you may not spend your time being nice to others, helping others etc, but if you did become this selfish fool, the nature of your actions would then create an unenjoyable environment for you, and you wouldn't be able to enjoy your life. When you think about people who go overseas and do charity work, without often realising it people are not actually doing it for the people they help, they are actually doing it to make them feel good about themselves. And if all the people around you do not have their own independent existence, then you could argue that those people are just a part of you, and to ignore or treat them badly is only treating yourself badly.
    dunno i just find it fascinating!

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    ever watched "the Matrix" its really a documentary
    Last edited by zollo; 31-07-2011 at 1:00pm.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zollo View Post
    ever watched "the Matrix" its really a documentary

    Stop laughing, or they'll hear ya!

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    Though I recall a phase as a teenager when having discovered it, we took pleasure in referring to everything and everybody as "figments".
    We used to say,"I'm a figment of my imagination."
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Food for thought, the strongest of the solipism theories is where you firmly believe no other being/mind/existence/reality other than your own exists
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_solipsism

    And this is the bit I love about it, the reason why it's not a commonly expressed theory:

    "One reason for the lack of support of this philosophical position is how strange it would be for a solipsist to preach solipsism - as if to convince everyone around them that they are purely a figment of the author's own imagination. The very idea of communicating philosophical ideas would be arbitrary to a true solipsist, as according to them, there is no other mind with whom they would communicate their beliefs."

    I'm pretty sure you'd get committed if you truly believed everyone was a figment of your imagination.
    The scary thing is that it's impossible to prove to anyone otherwise!
    Last edited by pmack; 01-08-2011 at 8:39pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn .
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 01-08-2011 at 8:56pm.

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    Ignorance is bliss hey Keith!
    Last edited by pmack; 01-08-2011 at 9:02pm.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmack View Post
    Food for thought, the strongest of the solipism theories is where you firmly believe no other being/mind/existence/reality other than your own exists......
    So does that mean I can't vote in any AP competitions, 'cause none of those other photographers reality (as presented in an image, or being present to take the image) exists?
    Or does it mean I just win any competition I enter 'cause no one else's voted counted? (can you win with no votes, 'cause I don't vote for my entries?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    So does that mean I can't vote in any AP competitions, 'cause none of those other photographers reality (as presented in an image, or being present to take the image) exists?
    Or does it mean I just win any competition I enter 'cause no one else's voted counted? (can you win with no votes, 'cause I don't vote for my entries?)
    no of course you can vote, you're not voting for another photographers reality, you are voting for an image that you perceive to be the work of someone elses, however as you become aware of solipism, you realise that the work of "others", is simply a creation of your own subconscious. much like a dream state where you have conversations with people in a dream, what you are in fact doing is having a conversation with yourself, nothing more. so yep, we are all schizophrenic when we sleep

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