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Northern European Journal of Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief: Addis, Mark / Hämäläinen, Nora / Pedersen, Esther Oluffa / Westphal, Kenneth R.

Managing Editor: Pedersen, Esther Oluffa

Together with Niknam, Arman Teymouri

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.101
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.059

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Volume 1, Issue 2


Two kinds of methodological solipsism

Sami Pihlström
Published Online: 2010-03-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/SATS.2000.73


The paper deals with an analogy between two philosophical positions: (1) the kind of methodological solipsism associated with Carnapian logical positivism and, more generally, with the entire post-Cartesian tradition in epistemology and in the philosophy of mind and language, and (2) the more socially oriented, late-Wittgensteinian philosophy of language, which constitutes the background of several influential philosophical treatments of the conditions of understanding human cultures and social forms of life. In the latter, the solipsistic “I”, the locus of all experience and meaning, is replaced by a social subject, “we”, but the position remains methodologically solipsistic, since experiences and meanings are still created from a first person point of view, on the basis of what is “given” to the (social) subject. The solipsism issue turns out to be fundamentally relevant to some basic concerns in the philosophy of science and of the social sciences, because even pragmatic and constructivist currents based on Wittgenstein's later work employ solipsistic methodological assumptions.

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Published Online: 2010-03-17

Published in Print: 2000-11-01

Citation Information: SATS, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 73–90, ISSN (Online) 1869-7577, ISSN (Print) 1600-1974, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/SATS.2000.73.

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