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Being Egoist

1. Philosophically, Egoist is not a bad word. It’s a human biased behavior towards the self, particular community, or group. Even animals have this biased behavior wherein they give preference to their basic needs like hunger first.

2. It is an idea popular from the time of Aristotelian Nicomachean Ethics wherein he promotes that it’s good to be selfish and to think about self. Aristotle has said that to think about self is the noblest deed. And we couldn’t argue on this because self-love trend is gaining popularity day by day.

3. To get to the meaning, we need to understand the difference between ego, egotism, and egoism. Ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem, self-importance, and self-respect. Egotism is a sense of absolutely being absorbed in one-self and giving excessively importance to oneself. Egoism is to Act in one’s own self-interest or desires. To make this more clear, Ego will not compromise with other people, its self-respect would be lowered. Egotism will talk mostly concerning the subject matter “I”, and Egoism would not do charity because he feels he would be left penniless during critical time.

4. Why Humans are Egotist? For humanity, it’s difficult to be altruistic i.e., a person having concern for others without caring for self. Altruism is occasionally observed at a time of duty, obligations, culture, pride, and belongingness. Even a Doctor treats patients because of his nature of Profession. Also, Love & care of parents towards their children is because of sense of belongingness.

5. Humans act in relation to consequences, and mostly they feel it should be in their favor. A person gaining nothing by an altruistic Act would rarely commit to it. A person suffering by a good deed would most likely to avoid it.

6. The concept of individuality, human rights, freedom, liberty, democracy is the result of human’s egoistic nature. Humans interest towards their own gene is reflected through humans popular subjects of concern like Politics, History, Psychology, etc.

7. Normative Egoism proposes that humans should/ought to act in a way that feels right to them, and maximizes their self-interest. Humans build society, community, country because they want to preserve their traditions, cultures, values, interest for longer generations.

8. Ethical Egoism means that it is right to help others because helping others reflects back. Once you help others, people will help you back. Ethical egoism is a part of Normative egoism. A neighbor lends you his car, because in future you might help him in need.

9. Rational Egoism is that which helps you to achieve overall growth and happiness in life. It is concern with your interest, needs, and effectiveness. In case, you are hiring someone, you will check your company demands and needs rather looking into that person needs.

10. Psychological/Descriptive Egoism believes that we are always attracted or motivated by those which concerns us. A person will prefer joining Yoga class rather donating money in charity, it is because the Yoga class could help to stay fit, healthy, and achieve higher goals. A charity may not help that person for long run, but a yoga class will do.

To conclude, Egoist is a healthy term in Philosophy. So next time, your friend blames you with such words, you don’t need to feel low. This particular word is an important part of human life. Human beings are mostly driven by needs rather choice. Thus, the need to be egoist is okay and could go well with day-to-day situations.

Why ‘I’ matters? A theory of solipsism

‘Only I exists’, ‘I am at the center of this world’, ‘My consciousness’, ‘self-centered’, ‘selfish’, ‘I am alone’. All this describes the word solipsism.

Solipsism is the idea which revolves around the word ‘I’.  Many philosophers have tried to describe the idea of solipsism and connect it with subjective experiences. I guess solipsism is a part of everyone’s life. Therefore, defining it in a way that would give meaning to life and preserve our self would sound great.

The knowledge of self or introspection is believed to be the best technique to understand the self and its capacities. It can help to manage ourself to fit in this world. It should be noted that the knowledge of the external world could be known by self-consciousness.

Now, it’s important to know the terms which explain consciousness. They are- inner, private, subjective, mental, sensations, moods, memories, thoughts, and emotions. By understanding all these terms in-depth, we can understand consciousness. It should be clear that this terms could explain only self-consciousness and not the consciousness of others.

Since we are trying to explore the term solipsism, so it’s the duty to understand and describe self-consciousness well. To know others consciousness is a totally different process and in many ways depends on the intentions as well as actions of a person.

Solipsism has made advancement in individual thinking. An individual being always tries to know thyself best so that it could accommodate in the harsh circumstances and live life with dignity and respect.

I think self-value has become important because of the idea of solipsism. If a person hasn’t considered himself important in life, then in no way he had demanded values and respects from the society. We haven’t seen animals fighting for equality and importance. It is because they don’t understand the self. But, human beings know and understand self very well. And so he thinks of the self-rights and others rights. In this way, he also tries to establish an adequate place in this society.

Many have criticized solipsisms on the basis that it is a false theory with no literal resemblances to our life. Many have compared solipsism to ‘egoisms’, egotisms’. Solipsisms is considered as a negative theory in philosophy. It is not a very useful theory by many philosophers and critics. But, there are some popular philosophers who have worked in the theory of solipsisms and has tried to redefine it. They are- Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, George Berkeley, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Other similar words to solipsisms are ‘personalism’, Transcendental ego(Husserl), ego, super-ego(Freud), Dasein, Existenz(Heidegger), Cogizo, Personality, I, Me.

There are many kinds of solipsisms- Epistemological solipsisms, Ontological solipsisms, metaphysical solipsisms, and psychological solipsisms. The main idea of this essay is to define solipsisms in a way that would give meaning to our life. But, describing the kinds would make the solipsism theory more sound and effective.

Hence, I would be trying to make this kind clear in a few lines to give a summary of the main idea of the theory of solipsisms. Before we understand the kinds, it should be noted that the idea of solipsisms is running for a long period of time. The usage of these terms was recorded in 1700’s literature. And in the modern era too, this term could be found in every subjective and metaphysical text.

Kinds of Solipsisms-

1. Epistemological solipsisms-  Certainty is in one’s own consciousness.

2. Ontological solipsisms-  Only individual consciousness exists.

3. Psychological solipsisms- self-disturbances leading to the solipsistic lifeworld.

I have been reading an article where it was written that the schizophrenic patients(a mental disorder with detached reality) mostly live in their own solipsistic world. Schizophrenia symptoms include distorted thoughts, hallucinations, paranoia and feelings of fright. So, it could be concluded that the excess of anything could be dangerous. And, so, the excess of solipsisms in one’s life is not a good idea.

Therefore,it must be concluded that one should be able to have a proper balance between the internal life and external life. When the objective world is given proper sense and well-analyzed through the medium of a subjective world, then our self is preserved.

I would like to conclude my article with some poetic lines of ‘Soliloquy of the solipsist’ by Sylvia Path.

Make houses shrink
And trees diminish
By going far; my look’s leash
Dangles the puppet-people
Who, unaware how they dwindle,
Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
Nor guess that if I choose to blink
They die.”

The last line of the stanzas makes clear that if ‘I’ don’t exists nothing exists. There is a complete importance and justification to the person ‘I’ and that’s make it a perfect example for the topic of solipsism.

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