Talk:Solipsism syndrome

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This obviously needs to be Wikified and edited, I grabbed it from NASA and couldn't find a copyright for it anywhere, so I assume it's public domain. If not, some of the facts are here at least. --Our Bold Hero 07:28, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes indeed. In particular the stuff about 'extraterrestrial communities' needs some explanation. Ben Finn 13:20, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes I was going to say that too. It just sort of comes our of nowhere. I had to go back and read again just to be sure I was not in some article about a sci-fi universe or something. Dalf | Talk 06:56, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
It's a poor choice in word, though it does make sense to a very limited extent. I think by extraterrestrial the author was trying to imply orbital habitats or non-terrestrial habitats such as in submarines and the like, though the term 'extraterrestrial' defined as originating from outside of the Earth. It should certainly be reworded to discuss controllable environments, rather than 'extraterrestrial communities' - I don't think the author intended to write about aliens ;) Blairco | Talk 10:56, 31 Jan 2007 (EST)

"television as a substitute for reality"[edit]

I'm not sure that "television as a substitute for reality" is anything more than pure speculation. It stands out as a serious claim that requires evidence and reasoning. Perhaps expand on it in later sections or cut it out, completely? As it is, it's a throw-away statement that really adds nothing to the article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) .

The statement, now removed, came from the NASA appendix and was "It is also known to occur in some youths who have been brought up on television as a substitute to reality." I'm including it here because I think that it should go back in when it can be included with sufficient sourcing and more useful detail. There have been people who reported (in retrospect, after overcoming solipsism syndrome) that they thought that movies were made about their own lives, and that this seemed natural because of the way that television seems to be directly catering to the single viewer. I think this is correlated sometimes with reported experiences of near-constant uncanny syncronicity and possibly schizophrenia. — Coelacan | talk 03:57, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Failure to distinguish being internally and externally consistent...[edit]

While solipsism is internally consistent, it is not externally consistent.

That distinction needs to be made so readers are aware that solipsism is not actually a valid way of thinking about reality. Solipsism, like many other metaphysical philosophies, is simply a "what if" scenario and not an objective description of the actual physics of reality.

Only if one accepts the premises that solipsism proposes without question, can the philosophy be perceived as internally consistent.

There are numerous examples of obviously make believe storytales and religions that also are internally consistent, as well as not being able to be disproved. This only serves to illustrate just how logically dishonest the term "not being disprovable" is. A thing is either provable or disprovable -- there is no such thing as "not being disprovable". What "not being disprovable" actually means is that the arguments presented are so far beyond the reach of external facts, provable facts, and/or a reason for the extension of known facts, that one can only accept the proposed premises purely by blind faith acceptance of them.

That does not mean that metaphysical philosophies do not serve some useful purpose, but rather they serve to help us understand our own psychology and (mis)perceptions of reality. 02:13, 27 July 2006 (UTC)The_Sage

First, I am not religious, but talking so flippantly about "obviously make believe [sic] [...] religions" might put you in a minority. My observation of the rather common phenomenon of someone committing themselves to an internally consistent, yet unproveable, belief system, as well as my knowledge of mathematical unproveability, as discussed in Godel's incompleteness theorems, causes me to call into question your claims about the "[logical] dishonesty" of "the term 'not being disprovable.'" What could you mean by 'logical dishonesty,' and how can you support a claim suggesting it in the face of these examples of unproveability? Better still, what is the purpose of debate on solipsism's usefulness as a "valid way of thinking" when the matter at hand is a psychological syndrome, rather than a philosophy? Apollo reactor (talk) 09:41, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

What does externally consistant mean? Ive no idea. -- (talk) 04:47, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I learned something from this page, solipsism syndrome, so would hate to see it deleted altogether. Clearly, however, the philosophical issue of solipsism itself should dominate and organize all the material on solipsism. So this ought to be encorporated under the main article. Don't feel like I am enough of a member of the community to take the plunge myself. Nick Thompson 19:11, 11 February 2007 (UTC)


Why is Lund being mentioned in the article? It has absolutely no relevance to pick just one Nordic city for no special reason. 18:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

It was used as an example in the NASA article. Pomte 12:24, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

More Sources?[edit]

Are there any more sources? I'm begining to think that NASA coined this term themselves. "Solipsism Syndrome" has never been encountered in a single psychological or medical textbook. Feel free to prove me wrong. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:20, 12 March 2007 (UTC).


Can anyone include some specific information about a crisis where one worries about solipsism. Isn't this a symptom of certain mental illnesses such as dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia or obsessive compulsive disorder?

Disputed accuracy[edit]

As others have noted, this entire entry appears to have no basis in psychiatric practice, being based solely on a definition put forward by one unrelated US government agency (namely, NASA). It contains no references to the psychiatric literature, and PubMed contains not a single reference to "solipsism syndrome". As it stands it lacks any credentials for inclusion Robma (talk) 12:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Is it necessary that the entry have a basis in psychiatric practice? (talk) 01:22, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Stuff happens whether we're here or not[edit]

By it's Merriam/Webster definition: Etymology: Latin solus alone + ipse self

"a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing" -- I'm hard pressed to cite a more absurd description of reality or the human experience in defining it. When I close my eyes or go to sleep, the grass continues to grow in my yard. And when my father died, his old work truck continued to rust. Stuff happens whether we're here or not - aware of it or not. I can't decide if the concept is more ridiculous for the shear arrogance proposed or the delusion necessary. With an impressive array of 'enlightening', self-important philosophical dogmas to choose from, this has become my all-time favorite to avoid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a forum or a blogging site for the posting of personal opinions, so don't use it as such. --Serph (talk) 02:35, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Future of the article.[edit]

At what point would this article be considered unnecessary? I realize that there was a "keep" vote over a year ago with the mentality that it only needed further sources, but at what point do you conclude that there aren't going to be any more sources? Indefinitely keeping an article on the basis of one non-expert observation strikes me as a standard that would not be accepted on most Wikipedia articles, so I fail to understand how this "syndrome" is valid as such without any recognized diagnostic criteria or psychiatric reference. I'm not debating that it's a state of mind, but calling it a syndrome on the basis of one reference is a bit of a stretch.

I would add that my involvement in this discussion stems from someone incorrectly citing this article as a basis for the so-called syndrome, compelling me to explain to them that there was no scientific basis or recognized diagnostic criteria. Misinformation without a point bothers me. Dead men's bells (talk) 08:39, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

No Children please[edit]


maybe it's good to note that it is good to make children to see a larger world, but for other, maybe it's not that important to see a larger world and so children are not so good. Personally I will never make a child, since I think there is already over-population as well as a non Post scarcity, as well as it's better to try to become immortal or making universality in immortality. I wonder what Nick Bostrom think about that page. --Despres (talk) 10:51, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Keep this article[edit]

Whatever it's called, and whether it's mentioned in the literature or not, it's a real condition (ironic to use the world real here). I have it; it's unpleasant; for me it's related to social anxiety, a process of divorcing from reality, the very pronounced feeling that one is not present in the room. It would be great if we could at least keep this article, so others with the condition might see it and be afforded the comfort of knowing they're not alone - as I did years ago when reading an article about it in the old pop-science magazine Omni.

Better still would be if someone with a medical background could improve on it, but in any case, I vote strongly for keeping it.

Thanks - sorry to rant. Adambrowne666 (talk) 13:00, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Adambrowne666, while I'm certainly sympathetic toward what you are feeling, Wikipedia is not a placee for original research. I agree that those feeling this condition need validation and place to connect, but a Wikipedia article is not it. (talk) 13:11, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Did anyone do a google book search? I see plenty of use of the term. I shall be adding these to the article, I trust the matter is settled. Icemotoboy (talk) 22:10, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

If you believe you are the only one that exist, there is a contradiction, because I am. Get this! I believe you have something wrong with your identity. There was a french philosopher called Satre, he sayed "Hell, is other people." and in this context he is right about this. You need some bastards, who show you thats not up to you what happens in this world. Its crasy to think otherwise. If you cant stop to worry about this, go and see a doctor. Maybe it could also help to have sex, or to do some sport. You need to feel your body in a positiv way. And dont fool yourself with crasy ideas. There is a different point, should you still don't believe me. If you are alone, you must be god. And if you are god you must be allmighty. How can it be that you are allmighty, and you not not exist? Cogito ergo sum - hope this will help you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


In the introduction you suggest that solipsists have no empathy. But thats not true - they just percieve otherones emotions as a self-perception, when they feel empathy. -- (talk) 04:55, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


Not neccessarily enviromental causes. What about the run out of control of the philosophical thought experiment? This can lead to extreme Bipolar disorder: From melagomania to heavy apathy. I experienced that by myself with two heavy psychotic cycles. -- (talk) 05:05, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

if you go through it, just make the best of it and come out of it when you're ready[edit]

As one who has has suffered this "condition" or "syndrome," for 2 years, and has since overcome it, I'd like to share some thoughts. As far as cause, the actual fascination could arise from anywhere from being brainwashed by pseudo-mystics or quasi-cults to merely stumbling upon the theory online to watching mind bending movies like Inception or The Matrix. Anything could spark the idea...Now, I believe it takes an obsessive/schizoid/unstable mind to fall into the self-inducing trap that causes one to actually implement the theory into the mind. As a past sufferer, I see the "syndrome" as nothing more than a self-induced mind game that becomes the ultimate mental vacation package for the bored, lonely, anti-social, outcast etc. The vacation lasts as long as the sufferer wants or needs it to last. I propose that the sufferer does not actually believe that nothing exists except their mind. Rather, it becomes a subconscious metaphor for their distressed emotions of loneliness and hopelessness, and so the subconscious mind becomes confused of this symbolism, while the conscious and unconscious mind knows that solipsism is just a mind game and that our sensory perception should be in fact trusted- Hence the obsessive war games between the conscious and subconscious begins. But how can one blame the subconscious for half-way believing the theory after the obsessive/fearful part of the conscious mind has tried to spout its false logic into the subconscious? Even deep down, the sufferer knows that solipsism is not true, as part of being human is relying on our natural instinct, logic and and human connectedness. The problem is not the absurd, bankrupt and bizarre theory itself. The problem is when the mind fights itself. Yes, it's true, no it's not true over and over, until the subject of truth itself lapses into a meaningless, nonsensical pit of nihilistic despair. At this point, the obsessive/schizoidal type/depressed sufferer may realize that they are not facing a just simple philosophical question, but an entire existential phase of life. A new journey begins, a new opportunity to create one's own path and journey and find the truth that matters to them the most. The journey is short, but when one finally realizes how precious every moment of life is and that they have been wasting their time with questions/theories/quandaries that cannot be proved or disproved, they truly realize how amazing, yet short life is, and they begin to start living and experiencing all that life has to offer. They leave their bubble of fear and protection and doubt and skepticism and they go out into the world, and they feel real pain and pleasure that a human experiences along their journey rather than endless petty mental, hypothetical ponderings that only cause mental disturbance. When one attempts to "cure" this thing that the mind has been giving such ridiculous attention to, the mind itself will become meaningless to itself, because what the sufferer is telling itself to "cure" is the unknown. possibilities of how minds work... In other words, the sufferer is saying to their mind " Okay mind, who I don't fully understand, let's cure your tendency to wonder where you come from and just "know" that everything DOES exist! Let's prove it to ourselves. The mind then responds with.. Uh, you don't know?? well okay, umm here it is... All the world in front of you and around you. You can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, sleep in it, have sex in it, dream in it. What more proof do you do need that it is real? You fool... So, you then begin to realize the value of self-trust. Trust your world, your reality, maybe a higher power that binds this reality.. whatever it is , you learn to trust... So, this "cure" is self-trust. Trust is fundamental to living.... that settles you for a while, but then this irking longing, hollow, this infinite emptiness that exists in your heart still keeps you uneasy. What is it? You can't say, but you know you have felt this way before even worrying about this petty ridiculous solipsism...It's a longing... A longing for someone else outside of yourself... Someone to share life's rich experiences with, to know that you are not alone and the world is full of people like you who need each other. To be needed is the cure. To be loved. To love. To put your hand out and to feel. To take in love from this world that you are equally a part of. And to give your love back. That is what is all about. Not only a cure or remedy to loneliness, but to be aware of what the world really is. That is the reality to understand. To radiate and spread love to others and into the world.... And to be, Just to be.

We're here to have fun, man. I've realized that life is just too short to worry about such things. With the limited time we have, we must journey. Look up into the stars and realize how damn big, mysterious and wondrous this place really is...

-David... A friend —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Large edits december 2009[edit]

Right so, I've removed a large amount of what looked to me to be both POV and original research (a google search returns >5000 results, a search excluding the opening phrase of this article in order to remove mirrors sites etc. returns just over 200 results, while a google scholar search returns only four article). I'm going to refrain from wholesale reverts for the time being, but would ask that interested editors would note here any specific objections/ comments/ criticism re: my edits, so that we can discuss changes and so that I can clarify any possible misunderstandings. (talk) 01:45, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Intro section[edit]

The intro section conveys little information about the proposed syndrome itself. (What the heck does "severe Big Brother anomie" mean?) This could use some improvement. (talk) 00:19, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Broken Source Links[edit]

Sources 4 (Dispute Resolution in space) and 5 (Space Settlements) are broken links that lead to error pages. Suggest their removal from the entry. MosmordeanCreed (talk) 02:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Your suggestion conflicts with Wikipedia policy. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:50, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

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