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Solipsism

Posted on 2007.01.25 at 19:00
Current Location: 63114
Current Music: Journey
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Solipsism is an epistemological position that one's own perceptions are the only things that can be known with certainty. Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which maintains that the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher is the whole of knowable reality and that the external world and other persons are representations of that self having no perceptual independent existence.

An intriguing paradox concerning solipsism was described by the British writer Eric Bond Hutton in 1989. As a child Hutton often had lucid dreams in which people and things seemed as solid and real as in waking life. This led him to wonder whether life itself was a dream, even whether he existed only in somebody else's dream. Once in a while he would have a pre-lucid dream (in which one suspects that one is dreaming). He always found these somewhat disturbing, but one day hit upon a magic formula to be used in them: "If I find myself asking 'Am I dreaming?' it proves that I am, since this question would never occur to me in waking life." Yet, such is the nature of dreams, he could never recall it when he needed to. Many years later, when he came to write about his childhood fascination with dreams, he was struck by a contradiction in his earlier reasoning. True, asking oneself "Am I dreaming?" in a dream would seem to prove that one is. And yet that is precisely what he had often asked himself in waking life. Therein lay a paradox. What was he to conclude? That it does not prove one is dreaming? Or that life really is a dream?

Similar in nature, though not involving any paradox, is Zhuangzi's Dream. Zhuangzi, the ancient Chinese philosopher, once had a vivid dream in which he was a butterfly, fluttering happily here and there. Suddenly he woke up, but afterward was never certain whether he was a man who once dreamt he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was a man.

I wonder if I'm living in a world of my own creation?

Comments:


Me
photogoot at 2007-01-26 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
I am quite certian I am not dreaming. If I were living in a world of my own creation there would be less traffic and I'd be thinner!
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-01-26 03:36 (UTC) (Link)
To escape the horrors of my dreams I have to wake up.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2007-01-26 02:32 (UTC) (Link)
...living in a world of my own creation?

Isn't that the very definition of perception?
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-01-26 21:50 (UTC) (Link)
Rose tints my world, keeps me safe from my trouble and pain.
galinda822 at 2007-01-26 02:42 (UTC) (Link)
I believe we all live in a world of our own creation!
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-01-26 03:41 (UTC) (Link)
Its a wonder then we're not all happier. What's that the Agent Smith said in The Matrix? "as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from."
galinda822 at 2007-01-26 04:55 (UTC) (Link)
If only it were that simple!
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2007-01-26 05:34 (UTC) (Link)
If I were living in a world of my own creation, there'd be lots more dark chocolate and red wine. And I'd have minions! And a harem! And ... and ...

... don't mind me, I'll just be off in a corner somewhere. :)
danzigfried
danzigfried at 2007-01-26 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
Oooooh...I want to live in Melancthe's world. I've seen Howtons. He doesnt have a harem, although the sex dungeon sounds pretty sweet!

My vote is for hers.....mmmmmmmmmmmm......choooooocccccooooolate...

Oh yeah, the red wine and harem would be rockin' too!
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-01-26 15:24 (UTC) (Link)
I'll be in my bunk.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2007-01-27 04:47 (UTC) (Link)
"I wonder if I'm living in a world of my own creation?"

I've always said you were ling in your own little dream world!!!
ehowton
ehowton at 2007-01-27 04:55 (UTC) (Link)
I beat to the walk of my own drummer.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2007-01-27 04:58 (UTC) (Link)
Well if you quit beating your drummer you could walk better!!!!
galinda822 at 2007-01-27 05:49 (UTC) (Link)
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
Me
photogoot at 2007-01-28 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
Profound. So the question I am asking myself now is am I looking for a way of life I love or courage? Hmmm. I would have to say I find myself still looking, but at the same time questioning if I'll have the courage when (and if) that way of life is found. The thing is 18 months ago I would have said I had found it and was living it. The question then becomes did I have the courage to see honestly that it was not. Hmmm. There are more circles in life than I ever realized. Well I think that's plenty enough ramblings from a madman tonight!

Here's to good hunting and courage!
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