Why does wikipedia say that Taoism is solipsism? 1. Does Taoism say that others have no mind's? 2. Does this mean that every Taoist is a person who believes that only He has a mind, and all other people are just philosophical zombies?

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    Wikipedia's article on Taoism does not even mention solipsism.
    – Conifold
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


First and most obvious point: Wikipedia! Wikipedia is an excellent resource for simple, factual claims relating to things like maths, history, and the natural sciences. But it's only middling-fair for things in the social sciences, and it can be earnestly abysmal (for various reasons) when it comes to anything political, spiritual, or philosophical.

I don't know which Wikipedia article you're referring to, so I can't check the context (please provide links in the future), but I do know that 'solipsism' is a common misunderstanding of Eastern religions (Daoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc) by people steeped in the Western analytical worldview. In the West, 'solipsism' has become a catch-all phrase for any philosophy or worldview that is intentionally introspective, as though self-examination automatically precludes the existence of others. Often the term is used as a loose synonym for 'narcissism' or 'self-involvement', not in the formal philosophical sense as a theory of mind.

I suspect that whoever wrote this meant to say that Daoism is a type of virtue ethic, which focuses on the development of virtuous qualities within individuals. That's neither solipsistic nor narcissistic — virtue ethics focus on the individual because improved individuals improve society as a whole — but I doubt most people (and most Wikipedia editors) are overly familiar with the concept.

  • Also, transcendentally monistic, is often misunderstood as solipsistic.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 21:11

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