Friday, July 2, 2010

Word For The Day: Solipsism

solipsism - saal-ipp-sizm - noun, 1) the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist, ie. the external world and (most controversially) other minds cannot be known and might not actually exist; it is known as a basic skeptical hypothesis.  Author's Note:  I like Bertrand Russell's take on it; that - like a faith argument - solipsism is sterile because it allows no further argument, nor can it be falsified.  'Nuff said about that, read Wikipedia for more if you need to.  Geez, I only wanted to know what the adjective solipsistic meant anyway, when historian Alan Beattie (False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World) used it to describe Argentina's checkered economic past.  In that usage, solipsistic refers to someone who is so self-centered that they delude themselves into a fantasy world where they compare themselves only with themselves because they can't handle comparing themselves with others.  Have you ever noticed how blissfully proud (and therefore happy) some people are when by any rational measure they have no reason to be proud or happy?  Sort of an unjustified self-esteem?  A great defense mechanism, solipsism.  Wish I had some.