Book Chapter

Solipsism And The Graspability Of Fact

Citation

Johnston C (2020) Solipsism And The Graspability Of Fact. In: Appelqvist H (ed.) Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language. Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy. London: Routledge, pp. 46-64. https://www.routledge.com/Wittgenstein-and-the-Limits-of-Language/Appelqvist/p/book/9780815385011

Abstract
Wittgenstein’s Tractarian discussion of solipsism opens with the claim that ‘[t]he limits of my language mean the limits of the world’ (TLP 5.6.) According to this paper, Wittgenstein expresses here a thought that the subject makes no sense of her thinking having content going beyond in kind that which she possesses in thinking. What the subject possesses in thinking is furthermore a truth or falsity, so that the idea is ruled out of truth-independent substance to the world. At the same time, however, thinking is an act of the subject given to her only as such – only as something she does, and so only as a determination of herself. Truth is not therefore independent of the subject; rather, as Wittgenstein puts it, ‘the world is my world’ (TLP 5.62). This conclusion threatens an idealism under which the nature of truth is explained by reference to that of the subject; objectivity is grounded in a deeper subjectivity. This threat is deflected by the recognition that the solipsist’s subject is an essentially undistanceable ‘I’ without content or character, so that ‘solipsism strictly carried out coincides with pure realism’ (TLP 5.64).

StatusPublished
Number in seriesRoutledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online19/12/2019
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32557
PublisherRoutledge
Publisher URLhttps://www.routledge.com/…ok/9780815385011
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9780815385011
eISBN9781351202671