Epistemological solipsism as a route to external world skepticism

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


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