I have the following rough outline of utilizing solipsism as a proof by contradiction to the goal of asserting an epistemological proof of the external world.

  1. A solipsist (Wittgenstian) lives in a world full of certainty.
  2. Epistemologically, a solipsist self is one and the same with the world, leaving no room for doubt in such a world.
  3. A solipsist cannot doubt and live in a world full of certainty.
  4. Where doubt arises, the world is not solipsistic.
  5. Therefore doubt presupposes a world where epistemologically one can find out new facts or experiences about the world.
  6. Hence, where doubt arises, the existence of an external world that is non-solipsistic is warranted to assume and/or conclude.

My question is providing grounding for both claims 1 & 3. Can anyone point me towards some reputable literature that would support these seemingly obvious, yet, profound in scope and brevity claims? I had thought that something from the Tractatus, where Wittgenstein talks about solipsism as useful; but, the stipulation of solipsism by Wittgenstein in the Tractatus of the term 'solipsism' goes quite deep down the rabbit hole, quite fast.

Any help appreciated.

  • Section 7 here is relevant: iep.utm.edu/solipsis
    – E...
    Jul 8, 2019 at 17:45
  • I am not quite sure how this is better than you previous version, it starts with the same problematic premise as there. Even aside from that, the solipsist is completely idle in your argument. We can have a non-solipsist doubt, and "conclude" that the world is non-solipsistic anyway. The overall problem with your idea is that having someone believe or not believe something, doubt or not doubt, has nothing to do with how the world actually is.
    – Conifold
    Jul 8, 2019 at 18:48
  • @PhilGrad False premises. Your premise that a solipsist self is one and the same with the world contradicts the usual definition of solipsism. Here is one representative definition: Solipsism 1. Philosophy The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified. Jul 8, 2019 at 19:51
  • @Speakpigeon I have seen Wittgenstein's solipsist described as one and the same as the world.
    – Wallows
    Jul 8, 2019 at 20:21
  • @PhilGrad OK, then write "Wittgenstein's solipsist" in your argument so we know we are not discussing a solipsist but Wittgenstein's solipsist. Jul 9, 2019 at 9:51


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