The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Solipsism is the Only True Philosophy

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,649 times Debate No: 48136
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I believe that solipsism is the only true (real) philosophy because of a few things.

1.) The mind cannot absorb information or observe the world around it, it needs senses to do that. These senses may very well be lying to it because dreams and imagination and memory can be as vivid or more vivid and convincing than "reality". There is no way to know for sure whether the universe is a figment of the mind's imagination.

2.) Memory is false. Scientists have done experiments on mice, apes, and humans now too to replace and replicate "real" memory. Thus, proving that memory is an illusion and is just a physical pattern in the brain that can act as a computer.

3.) Reality cannot be proven. As I said in note 1, reality and simulated reality are the same thing. Interactions between people can be false and the universe may exist only to feed false information to my mind. A computer, for example, has no way of knowing about the things around it other than to take information that the creator/owner (us) feed it.

Rules for Debate-

No using "common sense" as an argument.
No bailing out.
That's it.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd round are arguments, I have posted my 1st round's argument above.

If you believe you can prove me wrong, accept the debate or forever remain a figment of my imagination, coward!


I graciously accept the challenge set forth by the might individual to determine whether "Solipsism is the Only True (real) Philosophy."

I acknowledge that this question has historically vexed philosophers throughout the ages and it proper to address such an issue.

Moreover, I tentatively accept the first stipulation "No using "common sense" as an argument" but would ask my opponent to clarify the terms "common sense". I interpret such a term to mean an ad populum appeal. If I misunderstand the intent, I would ask for clarification.

Second, I find the second stipulation "No bailing out" rather vague and lacking a historically "clear and distinct" formulation. Is my worthy opponent asking whether I commit to complete the stated rounds of the debate? If so, I readily agree. If I misunderstand the stipulation, I ask for the necessary clarification.



First, it must be acknowledge that the issue being forwarded is an assertion that solipsism is the following:

1.True and real
2.A philosophy, proper
3.Singular in excellence (e.g. the "only")

Moreover, it is argued, by my opponent, that the warrants for such an assertion are the following:

1.The mind cannot absorb information or observe the world around it
2.Scientists have done experiments on mice, apes, and humans now too to replace and replicate "real" memory.
3.Interactions between people can be false.

It must be noted that the aforementioned warrants are rather peculiar. They, by definition, invoke the following:

1.An external world (cf. The mind cannot absorb information or observe "the world around it.")
2.Other individuals & creatures (cf. "Scientists" have done experiments on "mice, apes, and humans").
3.Relationships (cf. "Interactions" between people).

Now, if it is the contention by the mighty individual that "solipsism is the only true & real philosophy, then he is invoking a rather odd set of propositions and warrants to support such a claim.

I thank my opponent for taking the historically indefensible position of solipsism (Bravo), but I readily acknowledge that invoking the external world, and all that is in, is a rather strange way of proving that solipsism is "true" and "real."

I am flummoxed by the notion that an appeal to the external world is proof of " that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure." Much less, I find such an assertion contrary to the notion that, "The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind."

I would ask that my worthy opponent answer this apparent contradiction to forward his assertion that solipsism is 1. true and real 2. a philosophy, proper 3. singular in excellence (e.g. the "only").
Debate Round No. 1


A dream seems real at the time, "reality" seems real at the time. It is entirely possible for a dream to be reality and what we perceive as reality to be, in fact, a dream. Because our world are so-called observed through senses, why is it implausible that a dream or figment of the imagination might be the world observed through the senses and the "real" interaction in the world to be fake.

In believing so, you also might ponder whether or not an external world exists. For example, the mind cannot itself view the world absolutely, and in a universe that exists, surely all objects can view one another essentially, right? So, readers, because the brain is only a vessel, and only creates the illusion of self-awareness, senses, emotion, life, and other things, maybe it also creates the illusion of external forces. It could be that, our eyes, ears, and noses are playing tricks on us in giving us the information we want to have, just as in the movie The Matrix.

There is no way to prove this but, then again there is no way to prove the existence of an absolute reality.


Who doesn't love a good Hollywood adaptation? In the Matrix, the Wachowskis panted a wonderful allegory. But within such a story there are necessary truths (see below for a further discussion of the need for "internal logical consistency"). Recall one Key Master. (As an aside, I thought the mighty individual should have used Philip K Dick's "We'll Remember It For You Wholesale" aka ... Total Recall. The ending is necessarily much more ambiguous, leading to a more powerful allusion. I encourage him to use it if he attempts the same debate again with another challenger.)

As a result, there was an internal logic which allowed a greater freedom for the narrative to unfold. Thus, what is essential is a consistent narrative.

The proponent of the motion "Solipsism is the Only True Philosophy" has made a bold assertion, some say he has taken the indefensible position. As such, I applaud such a brave move. But it must be noted that the debate rests upon provable truth claims, and consistency- not mere bravery- however laudable that may be.

Further, it must be noted that the burden of proof rests upon the mighty individual to "prove his assertion" not merely repeat it. As a result, it must be noted that my open questions remain unanswered.

1. How is Solipsism "true and real"? We understand that is his claim, but, again, repetition is not proof. My question goes unanswered.

2. How is Solipsism "a philosophy proper"? Much of the history of philosophy has traditionally used "solipsism" as a reductio ad absurdum- to demonstrate a failure in one's logic. I see no compelling reason offered by the mighty individual to overturn such a historical interpretation. Perhaps, the mighty individual has a proof, but we have yet to hear it. My question goes unanswered.

3. How is Solipsism "singular in excellence"? Again, my question goes unanswered.

Truth be told, the might individual is forwarding a radical understanding of skeptical idealism as the "one and true philosophy". I do not disagree with the notion is "a" theoretic-logical possibility, however poorly articulated and defended. Rather, I merely ask that the mighty individual defend his assertion that solipsism possess the three qualities he asserted in the opening round.

If I were to assist him, I would point out that the rhetorical power of his view comes as a counterpoint to a philosophic assertion. It is ill suited to serve as a positive assertion. If I were to use an analogy from chess, it is akin to logically checkmating an opponent- only to realise that one has counted incorrectly, and the "tempo" belongs to the side opposite.

Thus, the mighty individual miscalculated in asserting a negative claim as a positive one. I would encourage the mighty individual to try again in the future but take the "con" side and challenge the one forwarding an assertion to disprove the might individual's incredulity. His chances might improve greatly with such a strategy. (As an aside, solipsism's power comes from individual reflection- not a debate which necessarily requires 1. The burden of proof 2. Other respondents (imagined or otherwise) 3. Strict logical consistency.

As such, we have a repetition of unproven claim. He is the holder of the burden of proof, and what a heavy burden it is.

Having taken on skeptical idealism, which is what solipsism truly is, the mighty individuals use of the external world as a source of justification for his claim is a source of great befuddlement. Clearly, we all realise that such an appeal necessarily discredits his assertion. Here we find the essential objection to his assertion

The mighty individual must show how an appeal to an external world is not self-defeating.

Moreover, the hermetic logic of solipsism works only if one is asked to "disprove it". Again, it must be noted, that mighty individual is the holder of the burden- not the skeptical hearer.

In addition, if it we were to grant the mighty individual the claim he is forwarding- which we are not. Then, the responsibility of providing a consistent set of assertions "within his worldview" (i.e. internal logical consistency) would be necessary for the mighty individual to win the "debate", real or imagined. The mighty individual forwarded the idea that this exchange is in fact a "debate" (I.e. round #1 stipulation). Thus, if we are to take the mighty individual at his word, then - ironically- we might not even need to disprove his skepticism- we would merely need to win the debate "within" his self-asserted possible world.

There are necessary truths in possible worlds. Consistency is required.

Furthering the notion of 'debate', it must be noted that presumptions exist. In my first round, I specifically made reference, and continue to do so, to the "mighty individual". The nature of a "presumption" is such that a presumption, if unchecked, becomes an agreed upon convention/ truth. So far, the mighty individual has not countered the presumption that he is "in fact" a "real person" on the opposite side of this debate. I must point out that the "burden of disproof" ( I.e. the necessary response to a presumption) rests with him. Should he not address the issue, according to the logic of a debate, we can safely assume it to be true.

If the mighty individual choose to completely ignore the three unanswered questions, along with both the burden of proof (regarding his three assertions) and the burden of disproof (regarding my presumption of his actuality) ... let's say in a nifty piece of performance art, then it must be remember that even a performance has an audience, and such a performance would be judged according to how well it conforms to its own internal logic. Recall, the mighty individual called this exchange a "debate" at some point.

He should be held to this assertion.

I eagerly await the mighty individual's response.
Debate Round No. 2


themightyindividual forfeited this round.


First, I would like to thank the mighty individual for his brave attempt at defending such an intractable and difficult philosophical problem: solipsism.

His attempt to wrestle with a central concern in philosophy did not go unnoticed. In fact, such an attempt highlights the importance of philosophic rigor. The mighty individual reinforced our need to understand the consequences of a given set of philosophic premises.

The exercise had merit in and of itself- irrespective of any final outcome. And in such a spirit, I thank the might individual for providing a forum with which to explore the issue.

The issue, left resolved, on the table is whether solipsism is 1. true and real 2. A philosophy, proper 3. singular in excellence.

These assertions have yet to be answered. Moreover, the justification for forwarding the motion that solipsism is a true, real, proper philosophy which is singular in excellence rested upon both the notion of an external world and our skepticism towards it.

Something about Marie Antoinette rings true here ... either we may eat our skeptical solipsistic cake, or we may have our external world, but we clearly cannot have both.

Thus, we have no reason to believe the assertion that the external world may serve as a justification for believing that solipsism is a true and rightful understanding of the world, much less the "only" proper understanding of the world. Solipsism, has not been proven to be a true and real proper philosophy which is singular in excellence.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
Interesting debate. I'll read and vote when it's done, as long as I have the time. :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Con also showed Pro's arguments to be self-defeating. Conduct goes to Con because Pro requested no forfeits, and then forfeited himself.