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external world

the world of real existing things external to and independent of human consciousness. The question of how one can have knowledge of such a world, or even be sure that such a world exists, has been fundamental to philosophy since the time of René Descartes. See absolute reality; objective reality. See also Cartesian self; egocentric predicament; solipsism.

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Psychology term of the day

March 3rd 2024

nervous breakdown

nervous breakdown

a lay term for an emotional illness or other mental disorder that has a sudden onset, produces acute distress, and significantly interferes with one’s functioning. Also called nervous prostration.