Definition of solipsism
: a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism
solipsistplay \ˈsō-ləp-sist, ˈsä-ləp-, sə-ˈlip-\ noun
solipsisticplay \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsi-stik, ˌsä-\ adjective
solipsisticallyplay \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsi-sti-k(ə-)lē, ˌsä-\ adverb
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Recent Examples of solipsism from the Web
His preoccupations therein are with dualities, dichotomies and doubles: philanderer-penitent, solitude-solipsism, prince-pauper, Clark Kent-Superman, to name just a few.
But there was, at least, an emergence from cultural stasis and solipsism into self-consciousness.
This is solipsism, not theatre (or, at least, not interesting theatre).
For Mr. Kaag, American philosophy has always grappled with the solipsism and disaffection produced by an outsize emphasis on the self.
The bitterness and solipsism of their debate offered an unnerving glimpse of American politics in a post-Christian age, devoid of the framework that has long bound the nation together.
But our solipsism is frequently given outward expression rather than inward exploration, with more emphasis than ever before on images.
As the novel progresses, Vikas’s self-pity hardens into unrelenting solipsism, shot through with resentment at the ruin that his sons’ deaths have made of his life.
Not from the Hollywood world of solipsism and excess, certainly.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solipsism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Fans of René Descartes credit the French philosopher with introducing solipsism as a major problem of modern philosophy, but the word solipsism most likely sprang from a French satire written by Giulio Clemente Scotti in 1652 called La Monarchie des Solipses. The term wasn't used in English until the late 19th century, when solipsism, a composite of the Latin solus ("alone") and ipse ("self"), was applied purely in the philosophical sense. Recently the word has taken on another, more general sense, suggesting an ego-driven selfishness or self-indulgence.
Origin and Etymology of solipsism
Latin solus alone + ipse self
First Known Use: 1874
SOLIPSISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of solipsism for English Language Learners
: a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known
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