In philosophy, ideas are taken as mental representational images of some object. Ideas can be abstract concepts that do not present as mental images. Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being; the capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings. In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place. A new or original idea can lead to innovation; the word idea comes from Greek ἰδέα idea "form, pattern," from the root of ἰδεῖν idein, "to see." One view on the nature of ideas is that there exist some ideas which are so general and abstract that they could not have arisen as a representation of an object of our perception but rather were in some sense always present. These are distinguished from adventitious ideas which are images or concepts which are accompanied by the judgment that they are caused or occasioned by an external object.
Another view holds that we only discover ideas in the same way that we discover the real world, from personal experiences. The view that humans acquire all or all their behavioral traits from nurture is known as tabula rasa. Most of the confusions in the way ideas arise is at least in part due to the use of the term "idea" to cover both the representation perceptics and the object of conceptual thought; this can be always illustrated in terms of the scientific doctrines of innate ideas, "concrete ideas versus abstract ideas", as well as "simple ideas versus complex ideas". Plato in Ancient Greece was one of the earliest philosophers to provide a detailed discussion of ideas and of the thinking process. Plato argued in dialogues such as the Phaedo, Symposium and Timaeus that there is a realm of ideas or forms, which exist independently of anyone who may have thoughts on these ideas, it is the ideas which distinguish mere opinion from knowledge, for unlike material things which are transient and liable to contrary properties, ideas are unchanging and nothing but just what they are.
Plato seems to assert forcefully that material things can only be the objects of opinion. Furthermore, ideas for Plato appear to serve as universals. "Yes, so we do." "And we assert that there is a fair itself, a good itself, so on for all things that we set down as many. Now, again, we refer to them as one idea of each. "That's so." "And, moreover, we say that the former are seen, but not intellected, while the ideas are intellected but not seen." Descartes wrote of the meaning of idea as an image or representation but not "in the mind", well known in the vernacular. Despite that Descartes is credited with the invention of the non-Platonic use of the term, he at first followed this vernacular use.b In his Meditations on First Philosophy he says, "Some of my thoughts are like images of things, it is to these alone that the name'idea' properly belongs." He sometimes maintained that ideas were innate and uses of the term idea diverge from the original primary scholastic use. He provides multiple non-equivalent definitions of the term, uses it to refer to as many as six distinct kinds of entities, divides ideas inconsistently into various genetic categories.
For him knowledge took the form of ideas and philosophical investigation is the deep consideration of these entities. In striking contrast to Plato's use of idea is that of John Locke. In his Introduction to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke defines idea as "that term which, I think, serves best to stand for whatsoever is the object of the understanding when a man thinks, I have used it to express whatever is meant by phantasm, species, or whatever it is which the mind can be employed about in thinking, he said he regarded the book necessary to examine our own abilities and see what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. In his philosophy other outstanding figures followed in his footsteps — Hume and Kant in the 18th century, Arthur Schopenhauer in the 19th century, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper in the 20th century. Locke always believed in good sense — not pushing things to extremes and on taking into account the plain facts of the matter.
He considered his common-sense ideas "good-tempered and down-to-earth." As John Locke studied humans in his work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” he continually referenced Descartes for ideas as he asked this fundamental question: “When we are concerned with something about which we have no certain knowledge, what rules or standards should guide how confident we allow ourselves to be that our opinions are right?” A simpler way of putting it is how do humans know ideas, what are the different types of ideas. An idea to Locke “can mean some sort of brute experience.” He shows that there are “No innate principles in the mind.”. Thus, he concludes that “our ideas are all experiential in nature.” An experience can either be a sensation or a reflection: “consider whether there are any innate ideas in the mind before any are brought in by the impression from sensation or reflection.” Therefore
Mind–body dualism, or mind–body duality, is a view in the philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable. Thus, it encompasses a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, between subject and object, is contrasted with other positions, such as physicalism and enactivism, in the mind–body problem. Aristotle shared Plato's view of multiple souls and further elaborated a hierarchical arrangement, corresponding to the distinctive functions of plants and people: a nutritive soul of growth and metabolism that all three share. In this view, a soul is the hylomorphic form of a viable organism, wherein each level of the hierarchy formally supervenes upon the substance of the preceding level. Thus, for Aristotle, all three souls perish. For Plato however, the soul was not dependent on the physical body. Dualism is associated with the thought of René Descartes, which holds that the mind is a nonphysical—and therefore, non-spatial—substance.
Descartes identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and distinguished this from the brain as the seat of intelligence. Hence, he was the first to formulate the mind -- body problem in the form. Dualism is contrasted with various kinds of monism. Substance dualism is contrasted with all forms of materialism, but property dualism may be considered a form of emergent materialism or non-reductive physicalism in some sense. Ontological dualism makes dual commitments about the nature of existence as it relates to mind and matter, can be divided into three different types: Substance dualism asserts that mind and matter are fundamentally distinct kinds of foundations. Property dualism suggests that the ontological distinction lies in the differences between properties of mind and matter. Predicate dualism claims the irreducibility of mental predicates to physical predicates. Substance dualism is a type of dualism most famously defended by René Descartes, which states that there are two kinds of foundation: mental and body.
This philosophy states that the mental can exist outside of the body, the body cannot think. Substance dualism is important for having given rise to much thought regarding the famous mind–body problem. Substance dualism is a philosophical position compatible with most theologies which claim that immortal souls occupy an independent realm of existence distinct from that of the physical world. Property dualism asserts that an ontological distinction lies in the differences between properties of mind and matter, that consciousness is ontologically irreducible to neurobiology and physics, it asserts. Hence, it is a sub-branch of emergent materialism. What views properly fall under the property dualism rubric is itself a matter of dispute. There are different versions of property dualism. Non-reductive physicalism is a form of property dualism in which it is asserted that all mental states are causally reducible to physical states. One argument for this has been made in the form of anomalous monism expressed by Donald Davidson, where it is argued that mental events are identical to physical events, there can be strict law-governed causal relationships.
Another argument for this has been expressed by John Searle, the advocate of a distinctive form of physicalism he calls biological naturalism. His view is that although mental states are ontologically irreducible to physical states, they are causally reducible, he has acknowledged that "to many people" his views and those of property dualists look a lot alike. But he thinks. Epiphenomenalism is a form of property dualism, in which it is asserted that one or more mental states do not have any influence on physical states, it asserts that while material causes give rise to sensations, ideas, etc. such mental phenomena themselves cause nothing further: they are causal dead-ends. This can be contrasted to interactionism, on the other hand, in which mental causes can produce material effects, vice versa. Predicate dualism is a view espoused by nonreductive physicalists such as Donald Davidson and Jerry Fodor, who maintain that while there is only one ontological category of substances and properties of substances, the predicates that we use to describe mental events cannot be redescribed in terms of physical predicates of natural languages.
If we characterize predicate monism as the view subscribed to by eliminative materialists, who maintain that such intentional predicates as believe, think, etc. will be eliminated from both the language of science and from ordinary language because the entities to which they refer do not exist predicate dualism is most defined as the negation of this position. Predicate dualists believe that so-called "folk psychology", with all of its propositional attitude ascriptions, is an ineliminable part of the enterprise of describing and understanding human mental states and behavior. Davidson, for example, subscribes to Anomalous Monism, according to which there can be no strict psychophysical laws which connect mental and physical events under their descriptions as mental and physical events. However, all mental events have
Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya was an Indian Marxist philosopher. He made contributions to the exploration of the materialist current in ancient Indian philosophy, he is known for Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism, his exposition of the philosophy of Lokayata. He is known for work on history of science and scientific method in ancient India his 1977 book Science and Society in Ancient India on the ancient physicians Charaka and Sushruta, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, posthumously, in 1998. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya was born on 19 November 1918 in Calcutta, his father was a supporter of India's freedom struggle. It was his influence that initiated Debiprasad to two major passions in his life – Indian philosophy and politics. At a early stage of his life Chattopadhyaya immersed himself in the left nationalist movement by joining the Association of Progressive Writers, formed in 1936. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya obtained his academic training in philosophy in Calcutta, West Bengal under eminent philosophers like Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and S. N. Dasgupta.
After standing first in philosophy at University of Calcutta both in B. A. and M. A. he did his post-graduate research work under Prof S. N. Dasgupta, he taught philosophy at the University of Calcutta for two decades. Subsequently, he was appointed a UGC Visiting Professor at the universities of Andhra Pradesh and Poona, he remained associated with the activities of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Indian Council of Philosophical Research and the National Institute of Science and Development Studies of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research under various capacities. His second wife was Tibetologist, Dr. Alaka Majumder Chattopadhyaya. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya's work on materialism and scientific method led to his active interactions with the international community of philosophers and Indologists, he collaborated with some of the outstanding western scholars of the 20th century, like Joseph Needham, George Thomson, Bongard Levin and Walter Ruben. He was fellow of the USSR Academies of Sciences.
He died in Calcutta on 8 May 1993. In his writings, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya aimed to illuminate science and materialism in ancient India, to trace their evolution. While commenting on his work on Lokayata, German indologist Walter Ruben called him a "thought-reformer", "conscious of his great responsibility towards his people living in a period of struggle for national awakening and of world-wide fighting for the forces of materialism, progress and peace against imperialism, he has written this book Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism against the old fashioned conception that India was and is the land of dreamers and mystics". This study questioned the mainstream view that Indian philosophy's sole concern was the concept of Brahman. "From the scattered references in the ancient philosophical literature which were hostile to the ancient materialist schools, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya reconstructed the philosophy of Lokayata, which denied the existence of brahman and viewed pratyaksa as the sole means of knowledge.
He demolished the so-called "interpretation of synthesis" which sought to combine the diverse philosophical traditions of India to form a ladder that leads to the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Being a Marxist, Chattopadhyaya's uses the method of historical materialism to study "the ultimate material basis of the primitive deha-vada and the primitive rituals related to it" and to reveal how these could "be connected with the mode of securing the material means of subsistence", he traced "the course of development this archaic outlook underwent". It was an introductory book that examined Indian philosophy through an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on anthropological and philological studies; the book traced the philosophical development in India from the Vedic period to Buddhism. In this introductory study, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya targets another important myth that overshadows the study of Indian philosophy – that of the presupposed predominance of shastrartha or textual interpretation.
He views the development of Indian philosophy as the consequence of real clashes of ideas – "contradiction constituted the moving force behind the Indian philosophical development". Dale Riepe in his review of this book says that Chattopadhyaya "combines the analytic sagacity of Hume with the impatient realism of Lenin"; this is yet another provocative critique of the standard accounts of Indian religion. This book brings out a coherent historical account of atheism in India. In fact, according to Chattopadhyaya, "an unbiased survey of the Vedas shows the total absence of religious consciousness in its earlier stage and the Rgveda is full of relics of this stage of thought; the world polytheism is misapplied to such an early stage of the Vedic thought". In the Preface, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya says his purpose in this book is to present "an analysis of our philosophical traditions from the standpoint of our present philosophical requirements; these requirements, as understood here, are secularism and science-orientation".
He once again finds the philosophical development – debates and clashes – in ancient India embedded in the class struggles of the time. He discusses the materialist foundation of Vedic rituals, which he finds similar to the magical belief of controlling the natural forces through yajnas
Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, self-awareness, emotional knowledge, planning, critical thinking, problem solving. More it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context. Intelligence is most studied in humans but has been observed in both non-human animals and in plants. Intelligence in machines is called artificial intelligence, implemented in computer systems using programs and, appropriate hardware; the word "intelligence" derives from the Latin nouns intelligentia or intellēctus, which in turn stem from the verb intelligere, to comprehend or perceive. In the Middle Ages, the word intellectus became the scholarly technical term for understanding, a translation for the Greek philosophical term nous; this term, was linked to the metaphysical and cosmological theories of teleological scholasticism, including theories of the immortality of the soul, the concept of the Active Intellect.
This entire approach to the study of nature was rejected by the early modern philosophers such as Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, all of whom preferred the word "understanding" in their English philosophical works. Hobbes for example, in his Latin De Corpore, used "intellectus intelligit", translated in the English version as "the understanding understandeth", as a typical example of a logical absurdity; the term "intelligence" has therefore become less common in English language philosophy, but it has been taken up in more contemporary psychology. The definition of intelligence is controversial; some groups of psychologists have suggested the following definitions: From "Mainstream Science on Intelligence", an op-ed statement in the Wall Street Journal signed by fifty-two researchers: A general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas and learn from experience. It is not book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts.
Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. From Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association: Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never consistent: a given person's intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of "intelligence" are attempts to organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.
Besides those definitions and learning researchers have suggested definitions of intelligence such as: Human intelligence is the intellectual power of humans, marked by complex cognitive feats and high levels of motivation and self-awareness. Intelligence enables humans to remember descriptions of things and use those descriptions in future behaviors, it is a cognitive process. It gives humans the cognitive abilities to learn, form concepts and reason, including the capacities to recognize patterns, comprehend ideas, solve problems, use language to communicate. Intelligence enables humans to think. Note that much of the above definition applies to the intelligence of non-human animals. Although humans have been the primary focus of intelligence researchers, scientists have attempted to investigate animal intelligence, or more broadly, animal cognition; these researchers are interested in studying both mental ability in a particular species, comparing abilities between species. They study various measures of problem solving, as well as verbal reasoning abilities.
Some challenges in this area are defining intelligence so that it has the same meaning across species, operationalizing a measure that compares mental ability across different species and contexts. Wolfgang Köhler's research on the intelligence of apes is an example of research in this area. Stanley Coren's book, The Intelligence of Dogs is a notable book on the topic of dog intelligence. Non-human animals noted and studied for their intelligence include chimpanzees and other great apes, elephants and to some extent parrots and ravens. Cephalopod intelligence provides important comparative study. Cephalopods appear to exhibit characteristics of significant intelligence, yet their nervous systems differ radically from those of backboned animals. Vertebrates such as mammals, birds and fish have shown a high degree of intellect that varies according to each species; the same is true with arthropods. Evidence of a general factor of intell
The Chinese room argument holds that a program cannot give a computer a "mind", "understanding" or "consciousness", regardless of how intelligently or human-like the program may make the computer behave. The argument was first presented by philosopher John Searle in his paper, "Minds and Programs", published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences in 1980, it has been discussed in the years since. The centerpiece of the argument is a thought experiment known as the Chinese room; the argument is directed against the philosophical positions of functionalism and computationalism, which hold that the mind may be viewed as an information-processing system operating on formal symbols. The argument is intended to refute a position Searle calls Strong AI: The appropriately programmed computer with the right inputs and outputs would thereby have a mind in the same sense human beings have minds. Although it was presented in reaction to the statements of artificial intelligence researchers, it is not an argument against the goals of AI research, because it does not limit the amount of intelligence a machine can display.
The argument applies only to digital computers running programs and does not apply to machines in general. Searle's thought experiment begins with this hypothetical premise: suppose that artificial intelligence research has succeeded in constructing a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese, it takes Chinese characters as input and, by following the instructions of a computer program, produces other Chinese characters, which it presents as output. Suppose, says Searle, that this computer performs its task so convincingly that it comfortably passes the Turing test: it convinces a human Chinese speaker that the program is itself a live Chinese speaker. To all of the questions that the person asks, it makes appropriate responses, such that any Chinese speaker would be convinced that they are talking to another Chinese-speaking human being; the question Searle wants to answer is this: does the machine "understand" Chinese? Or is it simulating the ability to understand Chinese? Searle calls the first position "strong AI" and the latter "weak AI".
Searle supposes that he is in a closed room and has a book with an English version of the computer program, along with sufficient papers, pencils and filing cabinets. Searle could receive Chinese characters through a slot in the door, process them according to the program's instructions, produce Chinese characters as output. If the computer had passed the Turing test this way, it follows, says Searle, that he would do so as well by running the program manually. Searle asserts that there is no essential difference between the roles of the computer and himself in the experiment; each follows a program, step-by-step, producing a behavior, interpreted by the user as demonstrating intelligent conversation. However, Searle himself would not be able to understand the conversation. Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either. Searle argues that, without "understanding", we cannot describe what the machine is doing as "thinking" and, since it does not think, it does not have a "mind" in anything like the normal sense of the word.
Therefore, he concludes. Gottfried Leibniz made a similar argument in 1714 against mechanism. Leibniz used the thought experiment of expanding the brain. Leibniz found it difficult to imagine that a "mind" capable of "perception" could be constructed using only mechanical processes. In the 1961 short story "The Game" by Anatoly Dneprov, a stadium of people act as switches and memory cells implementing a program to translate a sentence of Portuguese, a language that none of them knows. In 1974, Lawrence Davis imagined duplicating the brain using telephone lines and offices staffed by people, in 1978 Ned Block envisioned the entire population of China involved in such a brain simulation; this thought experiment is called the China brain the "Chinese Nation" or the "Chinese Gym". The Chinese Room Argument was introduced in Searle's 1980 paper "Minds and Programs", published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, it became the journal's "most influential target article", generating an enormous number of commentaries and responses in the ensuing decades, Searle has continued to defend and refine the argument in many papers, popular articles and books.
David Cole writes that "the Chinese Room argument has been the most discussed philosophical argument in cognitive science to appear in the past 25 years". Most of the discussion consists of attempts to refute it. "The overwhelming majority", notes BBS editor Stevan Harnad, "still think that the Chinese Room Argument is dead wrong". The sheer volume of the literature that has grown up around it inspired Pat Hayes to comment that the field of cognitive science ought to be redefined as "the ongoing research program of showing Searle's Chinese Room Argument to be false". Searle's argument has become "something of a classic in cognitive science", according to Harnad. Varol Akman agrees, has described the original paper as "an exemplar of philosophical clarity and purity". Although the Chinese Room argument was presented in reaction to the statements of AI researchers, philosophers have come to view it as an important part of the philosophy of mind, it is a challenge to functionalism and the computational theory of mind, is related to such questions as the mind–body problem, the problem of other minds, the symbol-grounding problem, the hard problem of consciou
The mind–body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human mind, the brain as part of the physical body. It is distinct from the question of how mind and body function chemically and physiologically since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations; this question arises when mind and body are considered as distinct, based on the premise that the mind and the body are fundamentally different in nature. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, by pre-Aristotelian philosophers, in Avicennian philosophy, in earlier Asian traditions. A variety of approaches have been proposed. Most are either monist. Dualism maintains a rigid distinction between the realms of matter. Monism maintains that there is only one unifying reality, substance or essence in terms of which everything can be explained; each of these categories contain numerous variants. The two main forms of dualism are substance dualism, which holds that the mind is formed of a distinct type of substance not governed by the laws of physics, property dualism, which holds that mental properties involving conscious experience are fundamental properties, alongside the fundamental properties identified by a completed physics.
The three main forms of monism are physicalism, which holds that the mind consists of matter organized in a particular way. Psychophysical parallelism is a third possible alternative regarding the relation between mind and body, between interaction and one-sided action. Several philosophical perspectives have been developed; the historical materialism of Karl Marx and subsequent writers, itself a form of physicalism, held that consciousness was engendered by the material contingencies of one's environment. An explicit rejection of the dichotomy is found in French structuralism, is a position that characterized post-war Continental philosophy; the absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism, many modern philosophers of mind maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been influential in the sciences in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology, the neurosciences.
An ancient model of the mind known as the Five-Aggregate Model, described in the Buddhist teachings, explains the mind as continuously changing sense impressions and mental phenomena. Considering this model, it is possible to understand that it is the changing sense impressions and mental phenomena that experiences/analyzes all external phenomena in the world as well as all internal phenomena including the body anatomy, the nervous system as well as the organ brain; this conceptualization leads to two levels of analyses: analyses conducted from a third-person perspective on how the brain works, analyzing the moment-to-moment manifestation of an individual’s mind-stream. Considering the latter, the manifestation of the mind-stream is described as happening in every person all the time in a scientist who analyses various phenomena in the world, including analyzing and hypothesizing about the organ brain. Philosophers David L. Robb and John F. Heil introduce mental causation in terms of the mind–body problem of interaction: Mind–body interaction has a central place in our pretheoretic conception of agency.
Indeed, mental causation figures explicitly in formulations of the mind–body problem. Some philosophers insist that the notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. If psychological explanation goes, so do the related notions of agency and moral responsibility. A good deal rides on a satisfactory solution to the problem of mental causation there is more than one way in which puzzles about the mind's "causal relevance" to behavior can arise. Set the agenda for subsequent discussions of the mind–body relation. According to Descartes and bodies are distinct kinds of "substance". Bodies, he held, are spatially extended substances, incapable of thought. If minds and bodies are radically different kinds of substance, however, it is not easy to see how they "could" causally interact. Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia puts it forcefully to him in a 1643 letter: how the human soul can determine the movement of the animal spirits in the body so as to perform voluntary acts—being as it is a conscious substance.
For the determination of movement seems always to come about from the moving body's being propelled—to depend on the kind of impulse it gets from what sets it in motion, or again, on the nature and shape of this latter thing's surface. Now the first two conditions involve contact, the third involves that the impelling thing has extension. Elizabeth is expressing the prevailing mechanistic view as to how causation of bodies
Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; as a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. This extreme position is claimed to be irrefutable, as the solipsist believes themself to be the only true authority, all others being creations of their own mind. There are varying degrees of solipsism that parallel the varying degrees of skepticism: Metaphysical solipsism is a variety of solipsism. Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other realities, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, have no independent existence. There are several versions of metaphysical solipsism, such as Caspar Hare's egocentric presentism, in which other people are conscious, but their experiences are not present.
Epistemological solipsism is the variety of idealism according to which only the directly accessible mental contents of the solipsistic philosopher can be known. The existence of an external world is regarded as an unresolvable question rather than false. Further, one cannot be certain as to what extent the external world exists independently of one's mind. For instance, it may be that a God-like being controls the sensations received by one's brain, making it appear as if there is an external world when most of it is false. However, the point remains. Methodological solipsism is an agnostic variant of solipsism, it exists in opposition to the strict epistemological requirements for "knowledge". It still entertains the points. Methodological solipsism sometimes goes further to say that what we perceive as the brain is part of the external world, for it is only through our senses that we can see or feel the mind. Only the existence of thoughts is known for certain. Methodological solipsists do not intend to conclude that the stronger forms of solipsism are true.
They emphasize that justifications of an external world must be founded on indisputable facts about their own consciousness. The methodological solipsist believes that subjective impressions or innate knowledge are the sole possible or proper starting point for philosophical construction. Methodological solipsism is not held as a belief system, but rather used as a thought experiment to assist skepticism. Denial of material existence, in itself, does not constitute solipsism. A feature of the metaphysical solipsistic worldview is the denial of the existence of other minds. Since personal experiences are private and ineffable, another being's experience can be known only by analogy. Philosophers try to build knowledge on more than an analogy; the failure of Descartes' epistemological enterprise brought to popularity the idea that all certain knowledge may go no further than "I think. The theory of solipsism merits close examination because it relates to three held philosophical presuppositions, each itself fundamental and wide-ranging in importance: My most certain knowledge is the content of my own mind—my thoughts, affects, etc.
There is no conceptual or logically necessary link between mental and physical—between, the occurrence of certain conscious experience or mental states and the'possession' and behavioral dispositions of a'body' of a particular kind. The experience of a given person is private to that person. To expand on point 2 a little further, the conceptual problem here is that the previous assumes mind or consciousness can exist independent of some entity having this capability, i.e. that an attribute of an existent can exist apart from the existent itself. If one admits to the existence of an independent entity having that attribute, the door is open; some people hold that, while it cannot be proven that anything independent of one's mind exists, the point that solipsism makes is irrelevant. This is because, whether the world as we perceive it exists independently or not, we cannot escape this perception, hence it is best to act assuming that the world is independent of our minds. For example, if one committed a crime, one is to be punished, causing potential distress to oneself if the world was not independent of one's mind.
There is the issue of plausibility to consider. If one is the only mind in existence one is maintaining that one's mind alone created all of which one is aware; this includes the symphonies of Beethoven, the works of Shakespeare, all of mathematics and science, etc. Critics of solipsism find this somewhat implausible. However, for example, people are able to construct entire worlds inside their minds while having dreams when asleep, people have had dreams which included things such as music of Beethoven or the works of Shakespeare or math or science in them, solipsists do have coun