Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's the difference between Narcissism and Solipsism?

Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. Narcissists not only have a high opinion of themselves, but they have an obsessive need to have other people affirm this superiority, and as a result they engage in a lot of attention-seeking behavior.

Solipsism is a legitimate philosophical position...just not a very popular one. Much like people don't want to admit universal skepticism—the idea that no knowledge of any kind is possible—no one wants to say that he is the only real person in the universe. So it usually regarded as a dead-end that means you have made a mistake somewhere if your argument leads to solipsism.

Nevertheless, solipsism as such says nothing about how you will behave or treat other people. Even if you regard all other people as some sort of illusion or creation of your own mind, you might treat them very nicely. After all, you observe that being nice to these phantoms tends to bring about good results for you. (That is just an example; it's not to say that egoism—the belief that the good is what benefits oneself—must be a consequence of solipsism.)