Some Notes on the Phenomenon of Solitude

Christophe Perrin



In philosophy, the problem of solitude has traditionally been either ignored or treated trivially. And when philosophy tackles solitude, it often relies on two unconvincing presuppositions. The first is that to be alone one has to put oneself first; the second is that solitude can be both good and bad. What ensues from this two-pronged approach to solitude? Solitary solitude is both sought-after and happy, and lonely solitude both sustained and sad. But once the distinction has been set up, solitude is still not sufficiently described, because neither form of solitude is really solitude. The first one is sheer aloneness, and the second refers to loneliness, far removed from the phenomenon of soloist solitude.


solitude; aloneness; loneliness

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