Solipsism has the fewest entities (only my mind) and therefore it is the most minimal explanation.

Does that make it more likely than the existence of other minds? Because other minds offer billions of minds.

Many entities. Everything in the universe tends to the lowest energy level.

So, should we consider the explanations that have the least number of entities to be true?

Does explanatory power matter more? Is the number of entities crucial or important? What are the solutions to this problem?

Please explain.

  • i don't think believing other people's self reports must be circular, and it deepnds on how you phrase the argument (i believe their self reports becasue they have minds and so wouldn't lie about that, vs...). yes, sometimes the best explanation is not the simplest. maybe you could ask on physics stackexchange for examples?
    – andrós
    Apr 28 at 12:59
  • I want to understand whether a smaller number of entities is a priority or it all depends on the situation. If it is reasonable to look for an explanation with the minimum number of entities, then solipsism should be the most rational and therefore proven, but it is not. So there is some explanation why solipsism lost. Solipsism wins in the number of entities because it offers only one entity (there is only my mind). But are there any laws of the universe that say to look for the smallest number of entities? How did IBE deal with this issue?
    – Arnold
    Apr 28 at 13:47
  • yes, if the best explanation always involves the least amount of entities, then assuming you can construct another simpler explanation, however outlandish, then you cannot use IBE. i don't see what you are struggling with here
    – andrós
    Apr 28 at 14:15
  • I want to know if quantitative simplicity is the main criterion in IBE. Are all IBE criteria equal? The argument says that the existence of other minds is simple, clear, unified, but has a large number of entities. That is, it is 3:1 in favor of the existence of other minds or what? Where exactly is the explanatory power in my criteria?
    – Arnold
    Apr 28 at 14:27
  • 1
    Have you seen the movie I Robot (2004)? Spoiler alert! The character Sonny is a robot who speaks and acts as if he has the mind of a human being! When we watch a movie there is a thing called suspension of disbelief. I don't know why philosophers are so concerned about some states of belief and disbelief. We automatically recognize the other mind(s) and we can develop faith or doubt as to whether the other mind(s) in fact exist! All this occurs in the mind! Efforts to justify belief or disbelief occur in the mind! Other minds arise in the mind as the product of an unconscious process. Apr 28 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


The number of entities is generally an irrelevance, and you seem to be confusing yourself because you think otherwise. By your logic, a theory that asserts a block of iron, say, is a seamless blob, is better than one that considers the bar to be made of countless particles. Having separate entities is a problem if every one of them requires a separate justification. If a single assumption accounts for all the entities, there is generally not a problem. In your argument for solipsism, all of the other brains apart from yours are still 'entities' under solipsism, since they have to be accounted for in some way. It is nonsense to say that solipsism posits only one 'entity'. `

  • Why do you say "in general"? Solipsism suggests that not all people exist at the same time, but only those with whom I interact. And here mind and body are counted as separate entities. One mind and, for example, 5 bodies has fewer entities than 5 minds and 5 bodies. Explain it.
    – Arnold
    Apr 28 at 16:11
  • I've already told you- the number of entities is an irrelevance unless you have a reason to claim otherwise. That is why you are confused and are continually asking the same question. Rid your mind of the entities nonsense. Apr 28 at 16:26
  • That is, there are IBE criteria, among which there is a number of entities. The existence of other minds is simple, clear, unified, and solipsism has fewer entities. So 3:1 in favor of other minds? Does it work any other way?
    – Arnold
    Apr 28 at 16:36
  • philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/101256/… here it is said that simplicity is not the only criterion, but I do not understand what simplicity is meant: quantitative or explanatory. Also, where does unification apply? To simplicity or to some other criterion?
    – Arnold
    Apr 28 at 16:39
  • 1
    Why are you stubbornly ignoring what I have told you? The number of entities is irrelevant unless you have a good reason to assume otherwise. Apr 28 at 21:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .