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Philosophy the extreme form of scepticism which denies the possibility of any knowledge other than of one's own existence


(PHILOSOPHY) the doctrine that the self- my self- is all that can be known to exist and that ‘world’ outside ‘exists’ only as the content of individual consciousness. The doctrine arises from a recognition that the ‘objects’ of our sense experience are ‘mind-dependent’. However, solipsism is nowadays thought incoherent, e.g. WITTGENSTEIN argued that it is incompatible with the existence of the language in which the theory is expressed. The alternative view is REALISM, that the world outside can be ‘known’, although the limits of such knowledge of the world remains an issue. Compare RELATIVISM.



an extreme form of subjective idealism, which considers only the thinking subjects to be real beyond doubt, with all other objects declared to exist only in the consciousness of the individual. Solipsism contradicts all of life’s experience, scientific data, and the evidence of practical activity. Consistently maintained solipsism is extremely rare, but it is found in certain philosophers, including the 17th-century French philosopher and physician C. Brunet.

Proponents of solipsism usually try to avoid a consistently maintained solipsism by synthesizing subjective and objective idealism; this testifies to the lack of soundness in the doctrine’s underpinnings. G. Berkeley attempted to escape the accusation of solipsism by declaring that all objects exist in the form of “ideas” in the mind of god, who “inserts” sensation into human consciousness; he thus adopted a type of Platonic idealism. The subjective idealism of J. Fichte also led to solipsism, although Fichte stressed that the absolute ego on which his science of knowledge was based is not the individual ego but coincides ultimately with the self-consciousness of mankind as a whole. Solipsistic tendencies are clearly pronounced in empiriocriticism (see V. I. Lenin, Materializm i empiriokrititsizm, in Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 18, pp. 92–96). They are even more apparent in immanentism, whose exponents included R. Schubert-Soldern and W. Schuppe.

The term “solipsism” is sometimes used in an ethical sense to denote extreme egoism and egocentrism—”practical solipsism,” according to the terminology of the existentialist G. Marcel. M. Stirner most clearly represented this form of solipsism.


References in periodicals archive ?
Consider, for example, both the case of classical Hegelian solipsistic syllogism (in the case of absolutist history and sociology) and the generic example of the one-dimensionality (one-sidedness) between technological gadgets (which can easily be substituted by any given operational post-modern notion) in the "free market" and the majority of their users: a great gap exists between the given (gadgets as conditions) and the conditioned (subjects), that is, unless the subjects are the creators or producers--not mere buyers--of the said gadgets.
Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is particularly interested in the violence that both procedures--the solipsistic journey into the self, and the solipsistic focus on storytelling--enact.
I will concentrate on the last of these traits in a cultural manifestation: the solipsistic themes of Neil Jordan's work.
But I admit to wishing I had a hobby, something that would prevent me from falling into an entirely solipsistic existence.
Caught in his own solipsistic worldview, Tom not only is incapable of understanding Jim's suffering; he puts the slave in mortal danger to fulfill his own romantic notions of escape and derring-do.
Each regards itself as the primary political expression of a victim nation and draws from that a solipsistic self-righteousness that is used to justify ruthless means.
This discovery can bring comfort to the isolate or outsider; it can also deflate the solipsistic ego that believes its experience of life is unique.
Selfish, solipsistic, sneering, savage - she is a bolshie brat grown big.
In the same Post issue we had the usual governmental sanguine propaganda, from the solipsistic Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, informing us all that pounds 180 million has been invested in our area?
One result of this approach is that the authors fail to tackle the familiar Adam Smithian paradox that markets lead solipsistic agents to produce (against their subjective interests) the common good of improved collective production.
Liturgy is not a stylistic adjunct to solipsistic interiority or an exercise of will-to-power.