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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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