Quoted from http://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/:

One might even say, solipsism is necessarily foundationless, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would implicitly have to affirm the very thing that he purportedly refuses to believe: the reality of intersubjectively valid criteria and a public, extra-mental world.

I've had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Thornton (the author of the article on the IEP) rather extensively. He is a truly intelligent man, and his views and defense of the PLA seem well founded and thorough.

I suppose the real question at hand is, does Wittgenstein's argument succeed in the way Dr. Thornton says it does?

It seems to me any weak point of the PLA isn't enough to derail it, and that logically it's well founded for the most part. The pyrrhonian view seems to clearly be something Wittgenstein was not arguing for, as does the Kripkean view of the PLA, so the answer to the above would preclude those views.

  • "Does Wittgenstein's argument succeed in the way Dr. Thornton says it does?". Obviously not otherwise there would be no Solipsists. – Isaacson Jul 8 '17 at 7:21
  • I don't believe that the solipsist has to appeal to the reality of of intersubjectively valid criteria and an extra-mental world. He can appeal to his experiences (the empirical evidence) without metaphysically reifying them. Indeed, this is exactly what mysticism does for a view by which solipsism is not strictly true or false, He can appeal to logic negatively, by showing that logic cannot falsify solipsism. – PeterJ Jul 8 '17 at 10:49
  • @Isaacson That is a total non-sequitur. Since when is there any correlation between having adherents and being well-founded? – user9166 Jul 10 '17 at 18:32
  • This notion surely does not address the 'New Age Berkeleyan' version of solopsism for whom 'God is All' and 'Thou art That'. 'Not central to my self-image' and 'independent of me' are not synonymous, or even related once you step into psychoanalytic territory like Jung's 'imago/shadow/ego ideal'. – user9166 Jul 10 '17 at 19:08
  • @Jobermark Solipsists exist, they are rational intelligent human beings, and they have read Dr. Thornton. Therefore an argument exists to contradict his. How else do you suggest we measure the "success" of his argument?. By how many Solopsists it has convinced (that falls into the populist trap you highlight above), by how convincing we personally find it (that just dissolves the question into "Do you like Dr. Thornton's argument?"), by testing it's claims (it makes no testable claims), by whether it it logically sound (well, obviously, otherwise it would not even have been published). – Isaacson Jul 11 '17 at 7:01

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