Reblogged from This, That and the Other:
I am not a solipsist.
I am not a what? What the hell is a solipsist?
According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, solipsism is a doctrine that, in principle, my existence is only that which I experience — physical objects, other people, events, and processes — anything that would commonly be regarded as a constituent of the space and time in which I coexist with others and is necessarily construed by me as part of the content of my consciousness.
For the solipsist, it is not merely the case that he believes that his or her thoughts, experiences, and emotions are the only thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Rather, the solipsist can attach no meaning to the supposition that there could be thoughts, experiences, and emotions other than his or her own.
Another interesting way of looking at solipsism is the way the Urban Dictionary, of all places, defines it:
Solipsism is the belief that the person holding the belief is the only real thing in the universe. All other persons and things are merely ornaments or impediments to his or her happiness.
Solipsism versus Nihilism
Just to be clear, solipsism is not the same as nihilism. The solipsist believes that his or her own life has meaning and value, whereas the nihilist believes that life itself, including his or her own, has no intrinsic meaning or value. It’s the belief that a single human, or even the entire human species, is insignificant, without purpose, and unlikely to change in the totality of existence.
Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s get back to solipsism.
René Descartes proved his existence by saying “cogito, ergo, sum,” or “I think, therefore I am.” The solipsist prefers “cogito, ergo, omnia sum,” or “I think, therefore, I am everything!”
Continue reading: When I Die, You Will Cease to Exist – This, That, and The Other