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Solipsism claims that other minds do not exist and therefore other people are unconscious and feel nothing at all. Doesn't this worry you? How does philosophy deal with this?

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    You should go to a solipsist convention sometime. You'll be surprised at the number of people you'll meet there. Dec 30, 2020 at 22:52
  • And millenialists claim that the apocalypse is upon us and these are the final days. Should this worry us as well? Philosophy deals with intellectual credibility of solipsism itself, and it is not very high to worry about it much, see IEP, Solipsism and the Problem of Other Minds. But it does serve as a convenient springboard for raising philosophy of mind puzzles that are of independent interest.
    – Conifold
    Dec 30, 2020 at 23:25
  • Are you saying that solipsism is just faith? And you can just believe in something else.
    – Artemon
    Dec 31, 2020 at 0:20
  • I am saying that it is a faith with few good reasons to believe, and even fewer to worry about. But it helps to understand why to start believing in something else.
    – Conifold
    Dec 31, 2020 at 1:13
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    How a Solipsist know that his mind exists anyway?@Artemon
    – Wiseman
    Dec 15, 2023 at 15:45

3 Answers 3

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Suppose you are in a loving relationship with another person. To all appearances there is a real, two-way bond. How would such a thing be simulated? Is this other person a robot? How were they constructed and programmed? Is this other person a dream? Who then is the dreamer?

If you read a book, where the author talks about their experience of being a child, where do those words come from if not from another person's mind? When you read the words of this answer, what caused my body to strike these keys on my typewriter if I'm a creature of no mind?

It is far more convoluted and improbable to explain a simulated, mindless world, and your own presence as the only true mind within it, than to take the mindfulness of others at face value. And since there are an endless number of things that I could imagine, but that I have no reason to believe are true, I am not particularly bothered by this particular chimera of the imagination.

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Actually only Metaphysical solipsism states that other minds do not exist.

In metaphysics, metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which asserts that nothing exists externally to this one mind, and since this mind is the whole of reality then the "external world" was never anything more than an idea. It can also be expressed by the assertion "there is nothing external to these present experiences", in other words, no reality exists beyond whatever is presently being sensed.

The basic form of the argument: Person's mental states are the only things they have access to. One cannot conclude the existence of anything outside of their mental states. Therefore, only their mental states exist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_solipsism

On the other hand, epistemological solipsism is the claim that one can only be sure of the existence of one's mind.The existence of other minds and the external world is not necessarily rejected but one can not be sure of its existence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemological_solipsism

Doesn't this worry you? How does philosophy deal with this? While the answer for worrying is so personalized and changeable, The basic answers regarding how philosophy is dealing with this philosophy can be found via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism and https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/search?q=solipsism

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No, it does not worry me, because it is a theoretical speculation that I do not find even remotely credible (and by remote I mean remote as in the far side of the Universe). Solipsism is interesting to philosophers not because it seems likely to be true but because it highlights in an intriguing way the fact that knowledge has no ultimate foundations.

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  • Solipsism is interesting to philosophers not because it seems likely to be true but because it highlights in an intriguing way the fact that knowledge has no ultimate foundations. -- yes, it's a fun thought experiment. It's the sort of thing nobody serious believes is true, but it's still important to address the problem seriously in epistemological terms. It's a thought experiment, and a really powerful one, but not a serious position.
    – TKoL
    Feb 13 at 14:28

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