Jump to content

Does modern physics support solipsism? 


Recommended Posts

One person told me that modern physics support solipsism.

I do not believe it. 

Does modern physics support solipsism? 
Does modern physics have any evidence that solipsism is true?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, arnold3000 said:

Does modern physics support solipsism? 
Does modern physics have any evidence that solipsism is true?

Seems to me that you have combined two mutually exclusive ideas to produce a self contradictory question.

If solipsism is true there there can be no Physics, modern or otherwise.

 

Further I wonder why you are asking other 'selves'  ?

Surely the doctrine that nothing exists or can exist other than one's self automatically denies the existence of other 'selves' and other doctrines ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"he view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist."

 

Physics doesn't really have anything to say about what exists, physics tells us the way things behave. Does that electron actually exist? Physics doesn't say, but it tells us that it will behave a certain way if subjected to an electric field. And does that electric field actually exist? No, it's a calculational convenience, like a lot of things that get modeled in physics. Nature behaves as if it does, but what actually exists might be different. We're limited by what we can perceive, which limits what we can say actually exists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Swansont is far far more qualified than I am to pronounce on the relationship between physics and solipsism.

He is a working professional Physicist, whilst I am a retired applied mathematician.

Perhaps that is why he is less sympathetic towards philosophy than I am.

And I regard this as a philosophical question, not a physics one.

Perhaps this question should be moved to philosophy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, studiot said:

Seems to me that you have combined two mutually exclusive ideas to produce a self contradictory question.

If solipsism is true there there can be no Physics, modern or otherwise.

 

Further I wonder why you are asking other 'selves'  ?

Surely the doctrine that nothing exists or can exist other than one's self automatically denies the existence of other 'selves' and other doctrines ?

Exactly. The whole of science is predicated on the idea that we, i.e. more than just one "self" , can agree on how something called "nature", which is external to ourselves, behaves and that we can model this nature to predict future, collectively verifiable, observations of its behaviour.  

I can't see how that makes any kind of sense if the only thing that exists is the self.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, exchemist said:

Exactly. The whole of science is predicated on the idea that we, i.e. more than just one "self" , can agree on how something called "nature", which is external to ourselves, behaves and that we can model this nature to predict future, collectively verifiable, observations of its behaviour.  

I can't see how that makes any kind of sense if the only thing that exists is the self.

That mutual observational agreement is called 'intersubjective consensus'. That's as close as we can be to being objective.

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

That mutual observational agreement is called 'intersubjective consensus'. That's as close as we can be to being objective.

Indeed. There would be no point in trying so hard, if we did not thing there was something out there, besides ourselves, to agree about. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/29/2022 at 3:08 PM, arnold3000 said:

One person told me that modern physics support solipsism.

I do not believe it. 

Does modern physics support solipsism? 
Does modern physics have any evidence that solipsism is true?

Not that I want to redirect the thread according to my wishes; and despite some very interesting comments having popped up so far, may I insist on my question?

Why would it?

That is: What is the salient argument from 'modern physics' that would support the view that solipsism is tenable/necessary/etc. in our view of the world?

I don't see it. I do intuit that it's to do with quantum mechanics. Namely: that only the mind exists --Wigner's friend and so on.

How does physics support that view --or any variant of it that can be explained clearly?

Mind you, interpretations of quantum mechanics based on conscience are something of the past, and most of the physics community today find these interpretations at the very least unnecessary, and --given that, and that all consequences of quantum mechanics can be experimentally confirmed and objectively agreed--, unpalatable.  

Conscience should eventually be explained by science, but not taken as the underpinnings of it.

Thinking, or even suggesting that, eg., craters on Mercury that were formed, say, 2 billion years ago, can be explained from the dynamics of the mind, is absolutely ridiculous.

But if this complete turning upside-down of the mechanisms of explanation were to be inevitable, very strong arguments, and a theory accompanying them, should be provided. Vague suggestions coming from fancy phrasings of the peculiar aspects of quantum mechanics are not good enough.

So I suppose I agree with the OP. I do not believe it.

Edited by joigus
minor correction
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/29/2022 at 2:08 PM, arnold3000 said:

One person told me that modern physics support solipsism.

 

Out of interest I looked up the word solipsism in the Oxford English Dictionary.

 

Quote

In Philosophy the view or theory that only the self really exists or can be known.
Now also isolation, self-centredness, selfishness.

Physics, and not only modern Physics but also classical Physics uses the term isolation or isolated extensively.

So in that sense it must support solipsism.

But this whole thing is a philosophical/semantic argument as you have not fully defined your use of the term solipsism and its limits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what the stsndard definition of solipsism is, but I'm not sure I know what it is.
And I'm sure if you asked 25 people you would get 25 different definitions.

Physics doesn't work like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.