Solipsism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "solipsism" Showing 1-30 of 44
Philip K. Dick
“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn't we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it's as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can't explain his to us, and we can't explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication ... and there is the real illness.”
Philip K. Dick

Ursula K. Le Guin
“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Hell isn't other people. Hell is yourself.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Christopher Hitchens
“I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“I am my world.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

David Foster Wallace
“But the young educated adults of the 90s -- who were, of course, the children of the same impassioned infidelities and divorces Mr. Updike wrote about so
beautifully -- got to watch all this brave new individualism and self-expression and sexual freedom deteriorate into the joyless and anomic self-indulgence of the Me Generation. Today's sub-40s have different horrors, prominent among which are anomie and solipsism and a peculiarly American loneliness: the prospect of dying without once having loved something more than yourself.”
David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

David Foster Wallace
“The assumption that you everyone else is like you. That you are the world. The disease of consumer capitalism. The complacent solipsism.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

David Foster Wallace
“When a solipsist dies ... everything goes with him.”
David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“But what can a decent man speak of with most pleasure?

Answer: Of himself.

Well, so I will talk about myself.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead

Samuel Butler
“[P]oetry resembles metaphysics: one does not mind one's own, but one does not like anyone else's.”
Samuel Butler

Martin Gardner
“If you ask me to tell you anything about the nature of what lies beyond the phaneron… my answer is “How should I know?”… I am not dismayed by ultimate mysteries… I can no more grasp what is behind such questions as my cat can understand what is behind the clatter I make while I type this paragraph.”
Martin Gardner, The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener

Kedar Joshi
“The worst mockery God can make of a moralist is that He compels him to be a
Kedar Joshi

Ashim Shanker
“He may actually have been existing in the past and approximating a conceivable future, which brought even the assumption of his immediate perceptions as being in the present into doubt. And thus, he couldn’t—beyond a hint of skepticism—say that he truly existed right now and in this moment, but instead it seemed more rational to assume that he simply existed and nothing more.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Alberto Caeiro
“And since today’s all there is for now, that’s everything.
Who knows if I’ll be dead the day after tomorrow?
If I’m dead the day after tomorrow, the thunderstorm day after tomorrow
Will be another thunderstorm than if I hadn’t died.
Of course I know thunderstorms don’t fall because I see them,
But if I weren’t in the world,
The world would be different —
There would be me the less —
And the thunderstorm would fall on a different world and would be another thunderstorm.
No matter what happens, what’s falling is what’ll be falling when it falls.

Alberto Caeiro, The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro

“A person whom trains alone in isolation for extended hours or otherwise lives in a state of exile from civilization while pursuing his or her private passions can fall victim to the solipsism syndrome, a psychological state where they do not perceive the world as external to their mind. Feelings of loneliness, detachment, and indifference to the outside world characterize this syndrome.”
Kilroy J. Oldster

“For if any man thinks that he is alone is wise--that in speech, or in mind, he hath no peer--such a soul, when laid open, is ever found empty.”
Sophocles, Antigone

C.S. Lewis
“Even in human life we have seen the passion to dominate, almost to digest, one's fellow, to make his whole intellectual and emotional life merely an extension of one's own—to hate one's hatreds and resent one's grievances and indulge one's egotism through him as well as through oneself. His own little store of passion must of course be suppressed to make room for ours. If he resists this suppression he is being very selfish.”
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“Equality makes everyone into a prostitute for social influence points, or status. This leads them to become entirely self-serving, independent of their actual role in civilization, and this leads to a mixture of arrogance, pretense, narcissism and solipsism which is the defining feature of the person in the egalitarian society.”
Brett Stevens

Stefan Grabiński
“And if, indeed, there is nothing beyond the corner? Who can affirm if beyond so-called ‘reality’ anything exists at all? Beyond a reality that I have probably created? As long as I’m steeped in this reality up to my neck, as long as it is sufficient for me—everything is tolerable. But what would happen if I wanted one day to lean out of my safe environment and glance beyond its borders?”
Stefan Grabiński, The Dark Domain

Martin Heidegger
“It is wrong to oppose to objects an isolated ego-subject, without seeing in the Dasein the basic constitution of being-in-the-world; but it is equally wrong to suppose that the problem is seen in principle and progress made toward answering it if the solipsism of the isolated ego is replaced by a solipsism en deux in the I-thou relationship. As a relationship between Dasein and Dasein this has its possibility only on the basis of being-in-the-world. Put otherwise, being-in-the-world is with equal originality both being-with and being-among.”
Martin Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology

Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt
“Mme Therbouche: Ah oui, qu’avez-vous fait jusqu’à présent pour la morale ?
Diderot: (sans vergogne). Mais... j’ai offert mon exemple.”
Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Le Libertin

“All religious and spiritual practices lead to one deep realisation: We Are One. All is One.”
Anita B. Sulser PhD, We Are One

Ashim Shanker
“Here in Alpha City, we have a common saying: “What we call ‘sky’ is merely a figment of our narrative.” The most dreamy-eyed among us seem to adorn themselves and their aspirations in that proverb and you’ll see it everywhere: in advertisements on the sides of streetcars and auto-rickshaws, spelled out in studs and rhinestones on designer jackets, emblazoned in the intricate designs of facial tattoos—even painted on city walls by putrid vandals and inspiring street artists.

There is something glorious about kneading out into the doughy firmament the depth and breadth of one’s own universe, in rendering the contours of a sky whose limits are predicated only upon the bounds of one’s own imagination. The fact of the matter is that we cannot see the natural sky at all here. It is something like a theoretical mathematical expression: like the square-root of ‘negative one’—certainly it could be said to have a purpose for existing, but to cast eyes upon it, in its natural quantity, would be something akin to casting one’s eyes upon the raw elements comprising our everyday sustenance. How many of us have even borne close witness to the minute chemical compounds that react to lend battery power to our portable electronics? The sky is indeed such a concealed fixture now. It is fair to say that we have purged our memories of its true face and so we can only approximate a canvas and project our desires upon it to our heart’s dearest fancy. The most cynical among us would ostensibly declare it an unavoidable tragedy, but perhaps even these hardened individuals could not remember the naked sky well enough to know if what they were missing was something worthwhile. Perhaps, it’s cynical of me to say so! In any case, we have our searchlights pointed upwards and crisscrossing that expanse of heavens as though to make some sensational and profane joke of ourselves to the surrounding universe. We beam already video images of beauty pageants and dancing contests with smiling mannequins who look like buffoons. And so, the face of space cloaks itself behind our light pollution—in this respect, our mirrored sidewalks and lustrous streets do little to help our cause—and that face remains hidden from us in its jeering ridicule, its mocking laughter at this inexorable farce of human existence.”
Ashim Shanker

Thomas Nagel
“If you can't prove that anything exists outside you own mind, is it all right to go on believing in the external world anyway?”
Thomas Nagel, What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

“When confronting their distorted way of living, personal essayists must inevitably deal with the horrors of the solipsistic self. Essayists remind us to be astutely aware that life is what occurs before death, and because life is the only truth that we will ever experience, we might as well attempt to get our arms around it and embrace it with all our might. In contrast to the essayist’s desire to make clear-cut distinctions, poetry is an airy art form that makes ample use of metaphors and allusions.”
Kilroy J. Oldster

“I used to be a solipsist. When I was a solipsist, I didn’t believe that others existed. I believed in my own consciousness and only my own consciousness. Solipsists face a lonely existence, I can assure you that based on personal experience. What a prison the subjective reality of solipsism is. Solipsism drove me insane. Literally.

Fortunately, I now realize it is not a truth in the multiverse that other minds do not exist. As such, I know my mind is not a prison of loneliness. I am surrounded by beings that love me and that I love. So are you.”
Aaron Kyle Andresen, How Dad Found Himself in the Padded Room: A Bipolar Father's Gift For The World

Ronald Hayman
“His [de Sade's] achievement is that before the Romantic movement had been launched, he succeeded in making solipsism look like omniscience.”
Ronald Hayman, De Sade: A Critical Biography

A.D. Aliwat
“Last century we looked out, this one just in. We went to the moon, for Christ’s sake.”
A.D. Aliwat, In Limbo

“The only reason this one feels special is because it's happening to you”
Jonathan Sims, The Magnus Archives: Season 4

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