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Softcore Solipsism

Historical Knowledge

The article critiques two books on 19th century English history of class formation discussing their focus on radical individualism, and categorizing them as works of "softcore solipsism". The philosophical doctrine of (hardcore) solipsism denies the possibility of knowledge beyong that of ones own experience. Softcore solipsism is based on the belief that the only significant historical events consists of mental states, and the doubt that intersubjective statements of social life are verifyable. This philosophical doctrine can be overcome by adopting a relational realism ontology (i.e. social network perspective).