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by George Orwell

1984 Book 3, Chapter 3 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

"We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull…" (3.3.21, O’Brien)

Furthering Party doctrines, O’Brien attempts to push his view of a mind-dependent reality on Winston.

"Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exists except through human consciousness."

"But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals – mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which lived here long before man was ever heard of." (3.3.25-26, Winston, O’Brien)

Winston continues to resist the concept of a mind-dependent reality by referring to the existence of creatures pre-dating man.

Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief that nothing exists outside your own mind – surely there must be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name for it, which he had forgotten. A faint smile twitched the corners of O'Brien's mouth as he looked down at him.

"I told you, Winston," he said, "that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism." (3.3.31-32, O’Brien)

Winston continues to believe in an independently existing reality, but O’Brien ridicules him and tells him it is not so.

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