Solipsism

Definition: the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified

From Wikipedia:

Solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind.

From a Scientific American article entitled How Do I Know I’m Not the Only Conscious Being in the Universe?:

Solipsism, technically, is an extreme form of skepticism, at once utterly nuts and irrefutable. It holds that you are the only conscious being in existence. The cosmos sprang into existence when you became sentient, and it will vanish when you die. As crazy as this proposition seems, it rests on a brute fact: each of us is sealed in an impermeable prison cell of subjective awareness.

Why I Looked It Up

An Atlantic article discussing Emily Ratajkowski’s new book (this was the teaser blurb for the article):

The model and actor’s new book of essays is a fascinatingly solipsistic portrait of the tension between empowerment and objectification.

From the body of the article:

My Body sits in this liminal space between reappraisal and self-defense. It’s a fascinating work: insightful, maddening, frank, strikingly solipsistic.

I skimmed the article, but couldn’t quite figure out the author’s point. Maybe that Ratatowski is just self-absorbed?

Postscript

In a book discussing social networks:

The networks cater to our solipsism (selifes), our short attention spans (140 characters), and our seemingly insatioable appetite for news about celebrities made famous by reality television.

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