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SandSFun4All » CHECK IT DAILY! » Word of the Day » February 8

February 8

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1 February 8 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:37 am




\ sol-ip-SIS-tik \  , adjective

of or characterized by solipsism, or the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist: Her treatment philosophy dealt with madness as a complete, self-contained, solipsistic world that sane people are not able to enter .


Solipsistic  descends from the Latin terms sōlus  meaning "alone" and ipse  meaning "self." It entered English in the late 1800s.


I mean that in the solipsistic  sense, the way a little boy sometimes assumes other people wind down like robots as soon as he leaves the room: People seem to stop existing as soon as Cheryl Glickman turns her eyes away from them.
-- Lauren Groff, "‘The First Bad Man,’ by Miranda July," New York Times , January 16, 2015

Your love must be very--what's the word-- solipsistic  if you don't even imagine or speculate about what I might feel.
-- Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince , 1973

Solipsist Humor from Plantinga

At a recent Lecture I attened by Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, he warmed up the crowd with a few solipsist jokes.
FYI, solipsism is the rather odd idea that there is only one individual in the universe and that you are it. Everyone else is just a figment of your imagination.
1. British philosopher Bertrand Russell was a solipsist for a time (why does that not surprise me?), and he once received a letter from a woman who found his arguments very convincing. Well, I suppose it’s not so hard to convince a figment of you imagination that your arguments are brilliant. Anyway, the woman commented in her letter that his description of solipsism made a lot of sense and that, “I’m surprised there are not more of us.”
2. Plantinga also told of an accomplished academic who was a well-known solipsist (I forget the guys name).  And Plantinga though it would be fun to meet a real life solipsist, so he went to visit him. He was treated fairly well considering he was only figment. I mean, it’s not a given that a solipsist would feel the need to be polite to his imaginary friends. After a brief conversation, Plantinga left and on the way out one of the man’s assistants said, “We take good care of the professor because when he goes we all go.”


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