LINGUIST List 5.416

Mon 11 Apr 1994

Sum: Solipsism

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Solipsism: summary & new request

Message 1: Solipsism: summary & new request

Date: Fri, 08 Apr 94 09:05:13 EDSolipsism: summary & new request
From: <>
Subject: Solipsism: summary & new request

Dear Colleagues,

About 6 months ago, I placed a request on the List for any information on
Solipsism. More than just information, I was hoping to create some
interesting conversation and dialog. I would like to thank all those
individuals that did respond to my request. In summarizing their responses, I
will not mention names, but list the following general comments received at
the end of this message.

In order to stimulate a discussion again, I would like to post the following
poem I wrote and a comment that follows.

The Perpetual I

Alone here on my back
In a cold wet swamp of foreign soil
Stunned by snipers bullets in the vitals
But calmed seeing clearly that the
Leafless tree tops
Drifting clouds
Clear blue sky and
World are coming to their end
Before my very eyes.

Don Smith
Bridgewater, NH USA

Solipsists never die, they obliterate the world by closing the minds eye
creating nothingness beyond the primordial self which possesses the total
power and essence of biological life until the very last breath.
Please comment directly to my email address I look forward
to a lively discussion. In the meantime, here are the responses to my inquiry
of 6 months past:

I was referred to Tibor Machan's Individuals and Their Rights for a
distinction between conceptions of the human self that suggest solipsism and
subjectivism v.s ones that do not. See also David L. Norton's Personal
Destinies, A Philosophy of Ethical Indivisualism (Princeton, 1976).
There were several dictionary definitions of Solipsism (OED, Collins, and
Petit Robert) which are appreciated.
I was reminded of "Lacan and his 'mirror' stage of childhood development: the
wholeness a child sees in the mirror is of course illusory, a
representation." (comment from Marcus Banks)


Don Smith
Bridgewater, NH USA
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