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by George Orwell

1984 Philosophical Viewpoints Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #10

Did not the statement, "You do not exist", contain a logical absurdity? But what use was it to say so? His mind shriveled as he thought of the unanswerable, mad arguments with which O'Brien would demolish him.

"I think I exist," he said wearily. "I am conscious of my own identity. I was born and I shall die. I have arms and legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid object can occupy the same point simultaneously. In that sense, does Big Brother exist?" (3.2.40-41, Winston)

Winston continues to hold on to the concept of an independent, external reality by referring to his being conscious of his own existence.

Quote #11

"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.

Quote #12

"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.

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