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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 ?
Humbert begins to see beyond his solipsistic present, happens almost as
This stuff at the heart of the matter is essentially, intellectually primitive and cumbersome, no matter how much power, psychologism, techno-scientism, and modernity it displays: a set of mere opinions made strong by way of any kind of political favoritism does not solve the age-long problem of syllogistic solipsism and solipsistic syllogism in science and philosophy.
Magic in Chapter Two brings together Peladan's Le Vice supreme and Villiers de L'Isle-Adam's Axel as examples of a conflict between, on the one hand, solipsistic passions, occultism and elitist mysticism, and, on the other, communitarian interdependence and Christian doctrine.
This would seem to be an introverted, even solipsistic, enterprise, if it were not that these stories recount the soul's passage through the valley of this life--that is to say, its adventure in time, in history.
And it would be rather solipsistic (and Quixotic) to try to resist the trend come what may, at any price and all the time.
they will be there, earlier, their laughter buoyant, solipsistic.
Might not our Washington lawmakers take heed of Nero's downfall, which ended when the solipsistic tyrant fell upon his sword (with a helpful shove from his ex) as an enraged citizenry stormed into his palace?
Too much time spent in the first position leads to a solipsistic view of the world in which your needs override everyone else's.
When you have a to-die-for cast that includes Kate Walsh, Audra McDonald, Amy Brenneman, Tim Daly and Taye Diggs, you'd ordinarily want to deliver to them material a little less solipsistic than what they get in tonight's premiere of "Private Practice," Shonda Rhimes' much-anticipated "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff.
MUCH of the crisis currently raging around Northern Rock is a result of mass hysteria created by the solipsistic clique that is the London media, with the BBC being the worst culprit.
Kobe; O'Neal won his championship and seems content to play a supporting role as his play becomes more erratic, and Bryant seems lost in his own solipsistic universe of personal stats.
At times they seem a little too quick to denounce every single one of his actions and sometimes present him as so much of a solipsistic psychopath that we wonder how he was possibly able to conquer the biggest country in the world.