How do I know I’m not the only conscious being in the universe?

Bit of a shoutout to Charlie over at Scientific American, in an opinion piece with the headline above:

Some of my favorite works of art dwell on the solipsism problem. In I’m thinking of ending things and earlier films, as well as his new novel Antkind, Charlie Kaufman depicts other people as projections of a disturbed protagonist. Kaufman no doubt hopes to help us, and himself, overcome the solipsism problem by venting his anxiety about it, but I find his dramatizations almost too evocative.

[...] We have also invented mythical places in which the solipsism problem vanishes. We transcend our solitude and merge with others into a unified whole. We call these places heaven, nirvana, the Singularity. But solipsism is a cave from which we cannot escape—except, perhaps, by pretending it doesn’t exist. Or, paradoxically, by confronting it, the way Charlie Kaufman does. Knowing we are in the cave may be as close as we can get to escaping it. (Source)


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