Yesterday while researching solipsism for my report for japanese class, i came across Wittgenstein‘s private language argument, which states, as in my understanding, that language is a tool for communicating mental images, ideas and thoughts to other minds, thus if the solipsist has a language, that implies the existence of other minds that he could communicate with.
I’m not a solipsist, though i have to say that i long considered the possibility, but it’s an endpoint of ontology and epistemology at least, of the branches of philosophy, and as such, it’s not fun. Of course this is not an argument about the philosophical validity or possibility of solipsism, what i want to point out that philosophy is a “love of wisdom”, and as for me, i enjoy developing or even just understanding a system that could explain how and why the world is, how we sense and so on. Solipsism simply kills that fun.
Still, i see the weakness of Wittgenstein’s argument. First, it’s not necessarily true, that language is intended for communication between different mind, just as it’s pointed out in the wiki. It could be between any two data sources. If for example we consider our own memory to function how artificial memories function, and store the data in an abstract way, then that abstraction algorithm, that encoding could be considered a language. I don’t know if it could be a logically well structured formal language, and i don’t care. Formal languages were one of the few subjects at university at home that i considered utterly boring. Anyway, even this case, the communication would be between the conscience and memory of the solipsist.
Also, something that we in this world call a language and is used as a form of communication between multiple peers, is not necessarily such a form or tool of communication in all levels of existence. Meaning, that if the internal method of abstraction, or just a simple play of boredom created a something i’ll just call hyper-language in the solipsist’s mind before the conception of the world as we know it, it would be entirely possible that just as daytime activities and strong emotions can reappear in different forms in a dream (which is by the way thought to be the key to lucid dreaming by many), this hyper-language of the solipsist’s mind appears as a tool intended for communication between “minds” in the reality created by his mind.
Still, i don’t consider solipsism a real choice. Mostly because no solipsist ever reported total control over the universe, and since they have no total control over it, the actual control of reality is in the “hands” of something independent of their consciousness. As such, it’s just as much of guessing on behalf of the solipsist to believe that he alone is the whole reality, as saying that reality exists totally independently and just as we sense it, which view, by the way, as the total opposite of solipsism is the other endpoint, also leaving no more to think about.
And just a bit of ontology as end: something has to exist a priori (eternally, infinitely among the timeline (i couldn’t yet get rid of time, sorry) in both directions).