Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Problem with Solipsism

It is possible to translate life into a question of solipsism; that is, we can interpret all the day-to-day events of living in such a way that they pose the question,

"is there an external world to my sensations?"

We can push and pull life into making this seem a valid question. But to do so is really a misuse of our powers of interpretation. It is in fact not a valid question. We misunderstand the source data when we try to frame it into a question like this. Just like asking "what is a question?" and expecting there to be a sensible answer is a misuse of language, even though it may seem valid and logical when posed. Life, like a question, is a doing. To look for set meaning, facts, an underlying structure, is not a valid endeavour. To understand the living of life as phenomena, as a surface appearance to which there either is or is not a "real" causal substrate is to misinterpret the action of living life and being conscious.

It should be understood: we can interpret "I am walking" as "it feels as though I am walking", thus presenting the question of whether I am actually walking or not. But this creates a divide in the middle of life which is not present until we begin, after the facts, analysing and misinterpretting, and thereby drag life away from the normal patterns of thought. The differentiation of sensation and actuality is one not based in life, but in human analytical thought. Life is an activity. The problem occurs when we start analysing the activity and attempt to define it with too strict certitude according to granular criteria; then we are mistaken from the outset in imposing the forms of abstract human reason onto something not created according to those criteria. The truth of life is in the doing and partaking of its functionality.

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