Posted: Jan 13, 2021 10:36 am
by zoon
Frozenworld wrote:
Hermit wrote:
Frozenworld wrote:
Hermit wrote:
Ask someone who thinks metaphysical debates are of any use. I have made it abundantly clear that I am not among them, and I repeatedly explained why.

In this thread I implied (post #37) it might be those "who will step into the path of a fast moving truck because they think the truck only exists in their mind."

In the other thread you started on the same topic I explained similarly (post #12) that "this particular assertion, that colour and sound only exist in our minds, once again serves to demonstrate the irrelevance and utter uselessness of solipsism. True or not, it makes no difference to your behaviour. When you approach a red traffic light (which solipsism insists doesn't exist except in your mind), you do not keep driving regardless because colour is just in your mind, or because your perception of red may differ from that of other people (who also don't even exist except in your mind). When you look like going through the red light, and a passenger in your car screams "Stop!", you do not ignore it because the sound (and passenger for that matter) only exists in your mind."


That doesn't really answer my question though. Also doesn't science itself operate on the metaphysical assumption of an external reality and matter? Isn't matter unproveable?

Also found a proof for solipsism, though my gripe about it is that unborn is not a state: https://qr.ae/pNJ0s7

The question is irrelevant because whether there is an external world or it's all in your mind makes no difference to your behaviour. The same applies to science. We cannot prove or disprove metaphysical propositions that are supposed to have universal applications.

The so-called proof of solipsism you linked to is utter nonsense. How do we test that we have woken up? I had a dream once in which I repeatedly dreamt that I had woken up.


Except it does matter. IF it really is all in my head then there is no point to doing anything. If none of it is real then nothing matters. IT would radically alter my behavior.

Your problem here doesn’t seem to be so much idealism or solipsism, as universal scepticism, which is equally the background to the scientific view. There’s no way of proving induction, the principle that the future resembles the past. David Hume pointed this out in the eighteenth century, and nobody’s refuted him yet. We cannot be certain of what’s going to happen next.

You say that accepting this would radically alter your behaviour, there would be no point in doing anything. My view is that if we don’t know anything, including that, then the answer to “Why do anything?” is probably “Why not?” Do you find that sitting around doing nothing makes you happier than carrying on much as before?

I’m agreeing with David Hume when he wrote: “This sceptical doubt, both with respect to reason and the senses, is a malady, which can never be radically cured, but must return upon us every moment, however we may chase it away, and sometimes may seem entirely free from it ….Carelessness and inattention alone can afford us any remedy…For this reason I rely entirely upon them….” (I’m using the chapter on Hume in Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy”, where Russell quotes from Hume’s 1740 “Treatise of Human Nature”)