Sunday, November 9, 2008

Individual Resources

Individualism is so ingrained in this society, it's sometimes hard to separated individuality from individualistic philosophies.

One philosophy that takes individuality into account without being heavily individualistic, is existentialism. Existentialists believe that 'existence precedes essence', therefore we get to define ourselves--or, to put it another way, "The Individual Defines Everything". One good starting place for understanding existentialism is the Existentialist Primer. Related to this is phenomenology, which is about understanding how the individual perceives the world, from the individual's own perspective. A good site to begin exploring this is What is Phenomenology?

Another way to look at individuality is from a psychological perspective. Any textbook on Developmental Psychology would give information on the development of the individual. Theorists talk about identity formation and the creation of our 'self-concept' (how we understand ourselves as individuals). (The Psychology Wiki contains a large section devoted to Developmental Psychology.)

The rights of the individual are an important part of developing political theory. Although libertarians and individualist anarchists go too far in this direction, communitarian anarchists, libertarian socialists, and 'left-libertarians' try to protect the rights of the individual while creating a more egalitarian society. The Alliance of the Libertarian Left has a website that has a huge amount of information on Left-Liberarianism. Mutualism is a somewhat more conservative, but quite interesting, version of this. They want to get rid of capitalism but keep 'free markets'. A good introduction to this is at Mutualist.Org website.

Quote of the day: “Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.” - Albert Einstein
Word (or phrase) of the day: Same Gender Loving
Hero(es) of the day: Leo Tolstoy


SoapBoxTech said...

Interesting that Tolstoy is your hero of the day. I was reading him just the other day, and he was a screen name I used for a long time...altho I have to admit I had not read anything by him at the time. Just had kind of an idea what he was about. Fascinating fellow tho I am not so sure I agree with total pacifism.


MoonRaven said...

Glad to see that someone actually looks at my 'Hero of the Day'. I'm not sure I agree with everything Tolstoy said, either, but he was a major influence on other folks such as Gandhi, etc.

(Also, I'm sure that you are aware of the irony of your ending: "...I am not so sure I agree with total pacifism. (...) Peace.")

Anonymous said...

The Hive Mind: The Human Superorganism. It is in our DNA, it is just that much of science, religion and self centered materially based culture just does not want to accept, or is able to comprehend this rather beautiful potential about our highly evolved humanity.

This is our future. But we can still be diverse and individual.