Hephaestus's Blog

Word of the Month: Solipsism
January 16, 2015, 10:12
Filed under: Words of the Months

Eytmology: Latin solus, alone, + Latin ipse, self, + -ism.

Definition: The [philosophical] theory that only the self exists, or can be proven to exist. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)

Not surprisingly, solipsists can be rather depressing to have around. If all that exists is impressions in your own mind, then why do anything at all? Or if no other minds exist, why have any friends? If you do accept that there is a physical world around you, but you believe that no one has any minds at all, then you could get very lonely. On the other hand, those of a certain temperament could decide that everything, or at least everyone, was put there solely for their own enjoyment, and act accordingly. Such people can be hard to get along with.

Solipsism as a philosophical idea is related to the ideas of Descartes, (cogito, ergo sum says nothing about the outside world,) and those of the empiricists. I don’t really have room to go into a comprehensive overview of the subject, but suffice it to say that it isn’t very popular.


In closing, never confuse solipsist with ellipsis. Things could get very confusing…


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I learned a new word!

Sent from my iPad


Comment by Gramma.charli

I’m glad. That’s partly what this is for!

Comment by Hephaestus

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