Epistemological solipsism as a route to external world skepticism

Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):229-250 (2021)
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Abstract

I show that some of the most initially attractive routes of refuting epistemological solipsism face serious obstacles. I also argue that for creatures like ourselves, solipsism is a genuine form of external world skepticism. I suggest that together these claims suggest the following morals: No proposed solution to external world skepticism can succeed which does not also solve the problem of epistemological solipsism. And, more tentatively: In assessing proposed solutions to external world skepticism, epistemologists should explicitly consider whether those solutions extend to knowledge of other minds. Finally, and also tentatively: epistemological solipsism warrants more philosophical attention than it currently enjoys.

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Grace Helton
Princeton University

References found in this work

Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The content and epistemology of phenomenal belief.David Chalmers - 2002 - In Aleksandar Jokic & Quentin Smith (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 220--72.
Solving the skeptical problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
The matrix as metaphysics.David J. Chalmers - 2005 - In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press. pp. 132.

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