I am afraid that only my consciousness exists. That basically my consciousness simulates my body and the entire world. Please help me.


2 Answers 2


Argument 1: You don't (entirely) believe in Solipsism anyway

You asked for help. Therefore, you believe there's someone besides you to answer. (Or at least, you consider the possibility that someone is there to answer.)

Argument 2: The pragmatic approach

The world may indeed be a figment of your imagination. The world may be a simulation like the matrix. The world might be thoughts in the mind of God. The world might be completely real. Regardless, when you stub your toe, it hurts. When you decide that your mom is going to change her mind and give you dinner even if you don't clean your room, she still withholds your dinner until you clean your room.

When considering whether things are "real", you should not give equal weight or consideration to every argument that can be abstractly argued for, but base your notions on what actually makes a difference. If that isn't real food you're eating, or real air your breathing, you still get weak if you don't eat, and light-headed if you don't breathe. Whether you are a figment of your own imagination, or God's, or whether reality is as real as it seems... Physical laws still apply. You might as well act as if the laws that apply are, well, the laws that apply.

Sure, those laws might be something simulated by your mind, but unless you can turn it all off, what difference does that make? Other individuals still act independently of your conscious will, gravity still pulls you down, hunger still hurts, etc. Maybe it's just a fantasy that you'll lose your job if you stay home and don't work, but your mind is consistent enough that the check will not show up when you don't work, so get out of bed and go to work.

Argument 3: Humility

Stepping outside of a shallow, selfish world view, there are 2 problems with solipsism:

  1. What makes you think you're that important?
  2. What makes you think you're that smart?

By taking the position of disbelieving the rest of the universe, and the personhood of everyone else, you've basically said that you're the only important thing (the only real thing) in the universe. Do you really believe you're the most important thing in the universe? (I don't.)

(If you haven't already), study calculus. If your mind is simulating everything, then it's awfully convenient that you reliably work the math out correctly for gravitational acceleration to correctly cause every path the ball you throw to be parabolic (less wind resistance).

Or crack open a history book, or a newspaper. Read about the wars and revolutions involved in the Protestant reformation in Europe. Read about the forced labor camps in Russia under Communism. Read about how in 1959, the Japanese prefecture of Yamanashi suffered a severe typhoon, and how Iowa sent breeding hogs and 100,000 bushels of corn to relieve the Japanese. Are you making all of that up as you go along?

Are you actually smart enough to endlessly make up an infinitely deep and complex world? (No, you aren't.)

  • Argument 1: I am finding answer from "others" within my "consciousness". Analogous to memory recall. Argument 2: Agree that one should ask about the difference. One could think of "others" to be an abstraction to make sense of corresponding aspects of our consciousness. Argument 3: There is no pride in the lonely life of own imagination. Rest addressed in Argument 1 reply.
    – tejasvi
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 5:02
  • @tejasvi88 Your attempted rebuttal of Argument 1 puts you fully in the grip of Argument 2: there is no functional difference between "other people exist" and "other apparent individuals manifest in a larger, mystical 'consciousness' which we all [unconsciously] stem from."
    – Jedediah
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 17:21
  • 1
    @tejasvi88 And again, in regards to Argument 3: if without decisive evidence you conclude that there is some magical, mystical consciousness that's the "real" you, that created and controls everything... That sounds more like delusions of grandeur than a logically arrived at conclusion, or humility.
    – Jedediah
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 17:26
  • After reading CriglCragl's comment I think my replies do not apply for solipsism and your arguments stand. Regardless, my Arg2 reply is assertion of the choice between (others exist as "distinct" / others are part of "self") given the lack of "evidence" for either. For certain variants of monism (which I seemed to advocate), the relevance and distinction of grandeur and humility is lost. It's like winning or losing a single player chess game.
    – tejasvi
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 11:27


Refuting Solipsism

Is Solipsism self-defeating?

Different between Buddhism and Solipsism

Solipsism and other minds

Does modern philosophy believe in solipsism?

Is Epistemological solipsism a contradiction?

Or any of the next 30 pages of results on this site returned if you search 'solipsism'.

Fundamentally, anyone taking solipsism seriously, shouldn't care what others think. So asking questions and discussing already shows how difficult it is to have conviction in it. In philosophy, where discussing and asking questions is a given, it should be understood as a thought-experiment, like also p-zombies, aimed at understanding how we know what we think we know, rather than being something anyone in practice can live with or truly take seriously (it would actually look like a mental illness, like extreme narcissism or monomania).

I would point to intersubjectivity as the deepest argument against solipsism, as for instance implicitly involved in the Private Language Argument - we rely on a community of language users we were raised by and with for the conceptual detail of our thoughts, terms like 'self', 'existence' and 'solipsism' likely can have no meaning to animals that don't use language, however individually bright they are.

Adults don't appear from nowhere, words don't appear from nowhere. They are emergent in interactions, and reflect and embody the existence of things beyond themselves, in ways the metaphor Indra's Net can help us to picture. Reality is an intersubjective peer-to-peer experience, not one place but a shifting network of experiences.

Discussed with more detail here: Is there anyway to prove things happen/exist if I'm not aware of them?

  • 1
    > Fundamentally, anyone taking solipsism seriously, shouldn't care what others think. Quite the opposite. "Others" are part of one's consciousness so one should care about what it thinks.
    – tejasvi
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 5:06
  • 2
    @tejasvi88: that is monism rather than solipsism? I guess even a solipsist treating everyone else as p-zombies, still has to account for the regularities that allow others to be predicted in so far as they can be..
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 16:35
  • Thanks a lot for the pointer! Since yesterday I was searching something close within solipsism was disappointed. World as something similar to dream state and multi-faceted identities.
    – tejasvi
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 11:16

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