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Libertarianism Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... Contributions to liberal theory is a partial list of individual contributions on a worldwide scale. ... Modern liberalism in the United States is a form of liberalism that began in the United States in the last years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. ... Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism[1] and laissez-faire liberalism[2]) is a doctrine stressing the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of Adam... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The liberal theory of economics is the theory of economics in classical liberalism developed in the Enlightenment, and believed to be first fully formulated by Adam Smith which advocates minimal interference by government in the economy. ... This article is about the political philosophy based on private property rights. ... For the school of international relations, see Neoliberalism in international relations. ... This article is about political philosophy of Ordoliberalism. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... Social liberalism is either a synonym for new liberalism or a label used by progressive liberal parties in order to differentiate themselves from the more conservative liberal parties, especially when there are two or more liberal parties in a country. ... Cultural liberalism is a form of liberalism which stresses the freedom of the individual from what Lord Acton called the tyrany of the majority, the right of the non-conformist to march to a different drummer. ... For other uses, see Freedom. ... Individual rights represent the moral rights of individuals in society prior to government. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Liberal democracy is a form of government. ... Liberal neutrality is the idea that the liberal state should not promote any particular conception of the good. This idea formed a cornerstone of John Rawls work and has been developed by many other liberal thinkers e. ... The philosophical concept of negative liberty refers to an individuals liberty from being subjected to the authority of others. ... Positive liberty refers to the opportunity and ability to act to fulfill ones own potential, as opposed to negative liberty, which refers to freedom from restraint. ... For other uses, see Liberty (disambiguation). ... A free market is an idealized market, where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of money, goods, and services are voluntary, and are therefore devoid of coercion and theft (some definitions of coercion are inclusive of theft). Colloquially and loosely, a free market economy is an economy... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... A mixed economy is an economic system that incorporates aspects of more than one economic system. ... An open society is a concept originally developed by philosopher Henri Bergson. ... 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Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. Individualists promote the exercise of individual goals and desires. They oppose most external interference with an individual's choices - whether by society, the state, or any other group or institution. Individualism is therefore opposed to views based on collectivism or statism, which stress that communal, community, group, societal, or national goals should take priority over individual goals. Individualism is also opposed to the view that tradition, religion, or any other form of external moral standard should be used to limit an individual's choice of actions. Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Statism (or Etatism) is a term that is used to describe: Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters. ... For other uses, see Tradition (disambiguation). ... Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ...


Individualism has a controversial relationship with egoism (selfishness). While some individualists are egoists, they usually do not argue that selfishness is inherently good. Rather, some argue that individuals are not duty-bound to any socially-imposed morality and that individuals should be free to choose to be selfish (or to choose any other lifestyle) if they so desire. Others, such as Ayn Rand, argue against moral relativism and argue selfishness is a virtue. Others still argue against both moral relativism and egoism. Egoism may refer to any of the following: psychological egoism - the doctrine that holds that individuals are always motivated by self-interest ethical egoism - the ethical doctrine that holds that individuals ought to do what is in their self-interest rational egoism - the belief that it is rational to act... Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ... Ayn Rand (IPA: , February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (Russian: ), was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher. ... In philosophy, moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. ...

Contents

Etymology

The concept of "individualism" was first used by the French Saint-Simonian socialists, to describe what they believed was the cause of the disintegration of French society after the 1789 Revolution. The term was however already used (pejoratively) by reactionary thinkers of the French Theocratic School, such as Joseph de Maistre, in their opposition to political liberalism. The Saint-Simonians did not see political liberalism as the problem though, but saw in "individualism" a form of "egoism" or "anarchy," the "ruthless exploitation of man by man in modern industry." While the conservative anti-individualists attacked the political egalitarianism brought about by the Revolution, the Saint-Simonians criticized laissez-faire (economic liberalism), for its perceived failure to cope with the increasing inequality between rich and poor. Socialism, a word introduced by the Saint-Simonians, was to bring about "social harmony."[1][2][3] Saint-Simonianism was a French socialist movement of the first half of the 19th century. ... Socialism refers to the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Reactionary (or reactionist) is a political epithet, generally used as a pejorative, originally applied in the context of the French Revolution to counter-revolutionaries who wished to restore the real or imagined conditions of the monarchical Ancien Régime. ... Joseph de Maistre (portrait by Karl Vogel von Vogelstein, 1810) Joseph-Marie, Comte de Maistre (April 1, 1753- February 26, 1821) was a French-speaking Savoyard lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Socialism refers to the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ...


In the English language, the word "individualism" was first introduced, as a pejorative, by the Owenites in the 1830s, although it is unclear if they were influenced by Saint-Simonianism or came up with it independently.[3] A more positive use of the term in Britain came to be used with the writings of James Elishama Smith, who was a millenarian and a Christian Israelite. Although an early Owenite socialist, he eventually rejected its collective idea of property, and found in individualism a "universalism" that allowed for the development of the "original genius." Without individualism, Smith argued, individuals cannot amass property to increase one's happiness.[3] William Maccall, another Unitarian preacher, and probably an acquaintance of Smith, came somewhat later, although influenced by John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, and German Romanticism, to the same positive conclusions, in his 1847 work "Elements of Individualism".[1] The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Owenism is a term used to represent the Utopian socialist philosophy of Robert Owen, and deriviations thereof. ... Millenarianism or millenarism is the belief by a religious, social, or political group or movement in a coming major transformation of society after which all things will be changed in a positive (or sometimes negative or ambiguous) direction. ... Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God as opposed to traditional Christian belief in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). ... John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, whose work was hugely influential during the Victorian era. ... Romantics redirects here. ...


Political individualism

In political philosophy, the individualist theory of government holds that the state should take a merely defensive role by protecting the liberty of each individual to act as he or she wishes as long he or she does not infringe on the same liberty of another. This contrasts with collectivist political theories, where, rather than leaving the individual to pursue his or her own ends, the state ensures that the individual serves the interests of society when taken as a whole. The term has also been used to describe "individual initiative" and "freedom of the individual" in general, perhaps best described by the French term "laissez faire," a verb meaning "to let [the people] do" [for themselves what they know how to do]. Laissez-faire (pronunciation: French, ; English, IPA: ) is a French phrase meaning let do. From the French diction first used by the 18th century physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it became used as a synonym for strict free market economics during the early and mid-19th century. ...


In practice, individualists are chiefly concerned with protecting individual autonomy against obligations imposed by social institutions (such as the state). Many individualists pay particular attention to protecting the liberties of the minority against the wishes of the majority and see the individual as the smallest minority. For example, individualists oppose democratic systems unless constitutional protections exist that do not allow individual liberty to be diminished by the interests of the majority. These concerns encompass both civil and economic liberties. One typical concern is opposition to any concentration of commercial and industrial enterprise in the hands of the state, and the municipality. The principles upon which this opposition is based are mainly two: that popularly-elected representatives are not likely to have the qualifications, or the sense of responsibility, required for dealing with the multitudinous enterprises, and the large sums of public money involved in civic administration; and that the "health of the state" depends upon the exertions of individuals for their personal benefit (who, "like cells", are the containers of the life of the body). Individualism may take a radicalist approach, as in individualist anarchism. For other uses, see Democracy (disambiguation) and Democratic Party. ... Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Individualist anarchism (also anarchist individualism, anarcho-individualism, individualistic anarchism) refers to any of several traditions that hold that individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public...


For some political individualists, who hold a view known as methodological individualism, the word "society" can never refer to anything more than a very large collection of individuals. Society does not have an existence above or beyond these individuals, and thus cannot be properly said to carry out actions, since actions require intentionality, intentionality requires an agent, and society as a whole cannot be properly said to possess agency; only individuals can be agents. The same holds for the government. Under this view, a government is composed of individuals; despite that democratic governments are elected by popular vote, the fact remains that all of the activities of government are carried out by means of the intentions and actions of individuals. Strictly speaking, the government itself does not act. For example, the point is sometimes made that "we" have decided to enact a certain policy, and sometimes this usage is used to imply that the entity known as "society" supports the policy and thus it is justified. The methodological individualist points out that "we" in fact did not enact or carry out this policy; among those who voted, a certain group of people voted for the policy, individuals all, and another group voted against it. The decision that emerged was not made by the "people", or by the "government"; it was made by those on the winning side of the vote. This is significant because in any collective there exists individuals who oppose the policy whose wills are being overridden, and the use of "we" tends to obscure that fact. The individualist wishes to highlight the importance of the individual and prevent subsumption into a collective. For these reasons, methodological individualists tend to disagree with claims such as "we deserve the government we have, because we are doing it to ourselves," since perhaps that individual and very possibly many others disagree with the actions of the individuals who hold government power. That said, many individualists are willing to use "we" in reference to government or society as a convenient shorthand as long as the fact that these entities are composed of individuals is kept in mind. Methodological individualism is a philosophical orientation toward explaining broad society-wide developments as the accumulation of decisions by individuals. ...


Individualism and society

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "social contract" maintains that each individual is under implicit contract to submit his own will to the "general will." This advocacy of subordinating the individual will to a collective will is in fundamental opposition to the individualist philosophy. An individualist enters into society to further his own interests, or at least demands the right to serve his own interests, without taking the interests of society into consideration (an individualist need not be an egoist). The individualist does not lend credence to any philosophy that requires the sacrifice of the self-interest of the individual for any higher social causes. Rousseau would argue, however, that his concept of "general will" is not the simple collection of individual wills and precisely furthers the interests of the individual (the constraint of law itself would be beneficial for the individual, as the lack of respect for the law necessarily entails, in Rousseau's eyes, a form of ignorance and submission to one's passions instead of the preferred autonomy of reason). Rousseau redirects here. ... From an early pirated edition possibly printed in Germany [1] The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right (1762) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is the book in which Rousseau theorised about social contracts. ... Egoist may mean an egoist, someone with a philosophical self-involvement amounting to egoism (who may or may not be an egotist, i. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Look up ignorance in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Passion. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ...


Societies and groups can differ, in the extent to which they are based upon predominantly "self-regarding" (individualistic, and arguably self-interested) rather than "other-regarding" (group-oriented, and group, or society-minded) behaviour. Ruth Benedict argued that there is also a distinction, relevant in this context, between "guilt" societies (e.g. medieval Europe) with an "internal reference standard", and "shame" societies (e.g. Japan, "bringing shame upon one's ancestors") with an "external reference standard", where people look to their peers for feedback on whether an action is "acceptable" or not (also known as "group-think"). To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about the emotion. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... For other uses, see Shame (disambiguation). ...


The extent to which society, or groups are "individualistic" can vary from time to time, and from country to country. For example, Japanese society is more group-oriented (e.g. decisions tend to be taken by consensus among groups, rather than by individuals), and it has been argued that "personalities are less developed" (than is usual in the West). The USA is usually thought of as being at the individualistic (its detractors would say "atomistic") end of the spectrum (the term "Rugged Individualism" is a cultural imprint of being the essence of Americanism), whereas European societies are more inclined to believe in "public-spiritedness", state "socialistic" spending, and in "public" initiatives.[citation needed] Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


John Kenneth Galbraith made a classic distinction between "private affluence and public squalor" in the USA, and private squalor and public affluence in, for example, Europe, and there is a correlation between individualism and degrees of public sector intervention and taxation. John Kenneth Galbraith John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908–April 29, 2006) was an influential Canadian-American economist. ...


Individualism is often contrasted with either totalitarianism or collectivism, but in fact there is a spectrum of behaviors ranging at the societal level from highly individualistic societies (e.g. the USA) through mixed societies (a term the UK has used in the post-World War II period) to collectivist. Also, many collectivists (particularly supporters of collectivist anarchism or libertarian socialism) point to the enormous differences between liberty-minded collectivism and totalitarian practices. Totalitarianism is a term employed by some political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Left Anarchism is a term used almost exclusively by opponents of traditional anarchism to denominate philosophies that oppose private ownership of the means of production (or capitalism). ... Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that aim to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies - a society in which all violent or coercive institutions would be dissolved, and in their place every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production, or...


Individualism, sometimes closely associated with certain variants of individualist anarchism, libertarianism or classical liberalism, typically takes it for granted that individuals know best and that public authority or society has the right to interfere in the person's decision-making process only when a very compelling need to do so arises (and maybe not even in those circumstances). This type of argument is often observed in relation to policy debates regarding regulation of industries, as well as in relation to personal choice of lifestyle. Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Individualist anarchism (also anarchist individualism, anarcho-individualism, individualistic anarchism) refers to any of several traditions that hold that individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public... This article is about the political philosophy based on private property rights. ... Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism[1] and laissez-faire liberalism[2]) is a doctrine stressing the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of Adam... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ...


Economic individualism

The doctrine of economic individualism holds that each individual should be allowed autonomy in making his own economic decisions as opposed to those decisions being made by the state, or the community, for him. Moreover, it advocates the private ownership of property as opposed to state or collective arrangements. Capitalism is often said to be an economic system based on these views. The specific form of capitalism that adheres very strictly to the views of economic individualism is called laissez-faire capitalism. Corporations have gained for themselves the legal status of individual persons. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Autonomy (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Community (disambiguation). ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Collective can also refer to the collective pitch flight control in helicopters A collective is a group of people who share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project(s) to achieve a common objective. ... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... A corporation (usually known in the United Kingdom and Ireland as a company) is a legal entity (distinct from a natural person) that often has similar rights in law to those of a Civil law systems may refer to corporations as moral persons; they may also go by the name...


Individualism and US history

A personification of individualism as represented by a statue in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot.
A personification of individualism as represented by a statue in The American Adventure in the World Showcase pavilion of Walt Disney World's Epcot.

At the time of the formation of the United States, many of its citizens had fled from state or religious oppression in Europe and were influenced by the egalitarian and fraternal ideals that later found expression in the French revolution. Such ideas influenced the framers of the U.S. Constitution (the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans) who believed that the government should seek to protect individual rights in the constitution itself; this idea later led to the Bill of Rights. According to Ronald Scollon, the "fundamental American ideology of individualism" can be summarized by the following two statements: 1. The individual is the basis of all reality and all society. 2. The individual is defined by what he or she is not." Explaining the latter statement, he says that American individualism emphasizes that the individual is not subject to arbitrary laws, and not subject to domination by historical precedent and preference.[4] The American Adventure is an attraction which is located in the United States Pavilion of the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. ... Cinderella Castle, at the center of the Magic Kingdom, is Walt Disney World Resorts most recognizable icon Introduction Owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA is home to four theme parks, two water parks, several resort hotels and golf courses... This article is about the Epcot theme park. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... The Democratic-Republican party was a United States political party, which evolved early in the history of the United States. ... The United States Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. ...


The Essence of Individualism

At its core, individualism is nothing more than a dedication to careful thought. Individualist principles cannot be found in moral, political or economic “action” because action can only be valued with respect to the reasons that guide it. For instance, imagine that hard work is objectively valuable; you may feel inclined to judge a hard-worker favorably. But then imagine that her sole reason for working hard is that you will judge her favorably for it; imagine that she will stop when no longer observed. If you know this, you may judge her quite differently. Similarly, after brief observation, you may incorrectly label idle workers as lazy. The point is that snippets of action tell us nothing about the principles that guide action, and in this respect, individualism cannot be ascribed to individuals who have not testified about their thought processes.


But it is natural to infer others’ reasons in order to judge actions immediately. Should you rescue a child from a burning building, others will be quick to praise you under the assumption that you were guided by selfless care for another’s safety. They will not only ignore the proposition that your bravado was feigned for the sole purpose of receiving accolades, but they will also refuse to question whether the motives they’ve inferred are even objectively valuable. This strikes at the essence of individualism; a true individualist reevaluates core assumptions and inferences because, with a firm grasp of logical principles, the individualist knows that all ideas that are not logically provable are subject to change upon the existence of new compelling evidence. The individualist recognizes that another person should not be able to recognize an individualist on the basis of his observable actions. If one chooses to reject prevailing authority, she may be a thoughtless rebel or a thoughtful individualist; the action alone gives no indication as to which.


The essence of individualism is to choose the standards one aspires to. One may choose majority standards, minority standards, original standards, or no standards at all. Again, the actual choice does not prove individualist reasoning – one must look to the reasoning itself. Thus the only defining quality of an individualist is that she uses a personal command of logical principles to give all options a fair and equal evaluation before making a decision or conclusion. This process should certainly include evaluation of existing standards widely held. The individualist relies on her own judgment only to the extent that, after much evaluation, she finds it objectively superior to that of another.


Without delving deep into linguistics and the effects of connotation, it’s fair to point out that the immediate conditioned judgments humans make are mostly rational and mostly beneficial and are not necessarily anti-individualist. Also, they’re easily adjustable upon acquisition of new information. They can be thought of as “pre-reasoned” responses based on our vocabularies and our experiences and observations. Mostly, they serve us well, especially at times when judgments are irrelevant or when it is terribly inefficient to ask and answer questions endlessly. Evolutionary scientists see conditioned judgments as survival tools derivative of the fundamental dilemma: fight or flight. Our conditioned responses make economical use of our minds, so that we may devote our time to other thoughts and concerns. There is but one caveat: conditioned responses are shortcuts; they cannot provide answers to complex questions, and if their owners do not maintain them with frequent adjustment, they may serve to propagate logically misguided information even with respect to simple concepts.[5] For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ...


"Thinking Without Thinking"

In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking[6], journalist Malcolm Gladwell posits that conditioned responses are extremely beneficial to the expert mind. He gives an example of a therapist who can predict that a relationship is doomed after hearing mere snippets of a couple’s conversations. What Gladwell interprets as miraculous judgment is as easily interpreted as exceptional internal command of the rules of logic. Concocting meanings and patterns in random abstract data is relatively easy, but it is not easy to prove truth from random data with consistency and accuracy. Imagine every possible observation that one could make with respect to a patient: think of a patient’s seated posture, speech patterns, clothing, habits, interests. Numerous correlations will appear obvious, but many will be coincidental, many will be too ambiguous, and many will be imagined. To prove truth with accuracy is to subject data to such rigorous scrutiny that a conviction as to its meaning can be held beyond reasonable doubt. The words of rigorous logical scrutiny are rightfully the same words of criminal justice. The therapist’s accuracy stems not from magical ability to find telling patterns in data but from her constant testing of all perceived patterns against logic, after which she discards the irrelevant and improvident, retains and organizes a working mental catalogue of the valid and provable, and quickly applies the same to new factual contexts by analogy. To do this instantly may require a remarkable intellect, but any average mind, given enough time, is certainly capable of such a process. Criminal verdicts are not the product of experts; they’re the product of randomly selected humans forced to apply rigorous logical rules as instructed in order to reach a thoroughly justifiable judgment. This begs the question of why average humans do not attend other important judgments with such rigor. Brilliant minds may conceive of logic inherently and use it swiftly, but given time and effort, logic can be learned and applied by all. Use of logic helps illustrate this very point: genius is sufficient to grasp it but not necessary. The essence of individualism is partly found in the determination to observe the world through a lens of logical scrutiny. The implication is that conditioned judgments that are the product of such a process may be extremely beneficial. However, sound judgments and unsound judgments cannot be distinguished facially. The individualist understands this, and thus, she remains skeptical of all judgments until she conducts independent analysis using the tools of logic.[7] Malcolm Gladwell Malcolm Gladwell (born September 1, 1963) is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. ...


Individualism & "Common Sense"

At odds with logic is the principle of “common sense.” The two are sometimes used interchangeably, but they most definitely describe adverse methods of reasoning. The term “common sense” refers, quite naturally, to sense that is common. That is, it assumes there is a correlation between the popularity of a proposition and its truthfulness. For example, “common sense” originally suggested to humans that the planet was flat. Modernly, "common sense" is used to describe propositions that are “facially intuitive” per, allegedly, any reasonable individual’s independent judgment. While this idea disowns the groupthink fallacy, it’s still not an improvement because it remains subject to the flat-earth problem and asks the independent mind to accept a judgment on the basis of facial appearance. This causes the propagation of popular albeit erroneous judgments when facial appearance is deceptive as to objective reality. For example, consider the once facially intuitive proposition that, “Man cannot fly,” and then consider the individualist mentality with which the Wright brothers approached it. For other uses, see Common sense (disambiguation). ...


Common sense – one of the most popular sources of conditioned automatic judgments – is by its very nature a logical fallacy. Common sense suggests: “This seems like it’s probably true.” Logic asks: “Is it at all possible that this is not true?” If one values truth, one should ask logic’s question instead of repeating common sense’s statement. Observing and experiencing the world through the lens of logic may lead one to develop conditioned automatic judgments that are virtually unassailable. And, conversely, to refuse this lens is an implicit admission that one’s conditioned judgments and conceptions may have no actual basis in functional truth. This creates some interesting questions. For instance, would human interaction be more efficient if all rules of logic were widely appreciated? Beyond geometry, American public schools do not teach logic; if they did, would conditioned judgments improve or cease to exist? Would marketing and media industries lose power and influence in a nation where citizens are better equipped to interpret and scrutinize data and claims of truth? Or do conditioned judgments make interaction more efficient even when untrue or misguided? These concerns precede the quest to define individualism, yet they’re wholly central to it because individualism consistently invokes implicit rejection of collective thought and “conformity.”[8] For other uses, see Geometry (disambiguation). ...


Individualism vs. Conformity

When “individualism” is alleged to be adverse to “conformity,” the proposition renders both words functionally meaningless. Conformity, at base level and regarding human relations, describes action for which the intended outcome is some form of increased homogeneity. The word alone should carry no connotation; it’s merely an objective description and can apply to anything from standardized meal consumption times to hygiene expectations. It is impossible to imagine how an ideology, person or group could oppose such a general and naturally occurring concept; to do so would be to spew fanciful sanctimonious delusions. Conformity is the act of consciously maintaining a certain degree of similarity (in clothing, manners, behaviors, etc. ...


Any comparison between conformity and individualism mistakenly elevates form over substance. Since human behavior is choreographed by the mind, actions become a proxy for criticism of a thought process, or lack thereof. Thus, the relevant criticisms miss the point and render themselves an embarrassment to the principles they purport to advocate.


Decisions to conform can be made in three ways: intentionally, after conscious thought (i.e. a desire to imitate); unintentionally, after conscious thought (i.e. a desire to act in a certain way that coincidentally imitates an existing way); or indifferently, after conscious thought (i.e. no desire to act, but inaction still amounts to conformity).


Criticism is most likely to be levied at intentional imitation, but this still amounts to hypocrisy as almost all human behavior is a form of imitation. To be valuable, criticism of “conformity” must delve significantly deeper; the only valid target of criticism is one’s reasoning process (not her actions), and the only acceptable argument is against one whose actions are detrimentally unreasoned despite choice and ability to reason. Observable action labeled as “conformity” tells us nothing about individualism in the same way that correlation tells us nothing about causation. The question should not be: “Are one's actions a conformist imitation?” The question should be: “Who or what is she imitating and why?” That question elicits true reflection on independent reasoning; it asks one to independently justify the standards she chooses to aspire to. Again, while one's observable choice may invite inference or assumption, the choice alone does not prove its reasons.[9]


Choice & Free Will

The essence of individualism is to choose one’s own standards, or ignore standards entirely, so long as that decision is well-reasoned. The alternative would be to place action before independent thought – to allow the standards of others to supply the reasons for one’s actions. This may suffice for anyone some of the time, but it should be fundamentally obvious that, for it to be a uniformly sound practice, one must be either inherently indifferent to the outcome of her actions or wholly dependent on another’s interpretation and value-judgment of the outcome. In this respect, one lives by the will and whim of another or by no will at all and is thus dangerously subject to persuasion given at least the minimum level of credible impetus that caused her to act in the first place.


One’s independent judgment reflects her will, her desires and her own reasoned valuations. Thus, only one’s independent judgment can or should command one’s actions if she seeks to be an individual rather than an employee of another’s desires.[10]


References

  1. ^ a b Swart, Koenraad W. (1962). ""Individualism" in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (1826-1860)". Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (1): 77-90. doi:10.2307/2708058. 
  2. ^ Lukes, Steven (1971). "The Meanings of "Individualism"". Journal of the History of Ideas 32 (1): 45-66. 
  3. ^ a b c Claeys, Gregory (1986). ""Individualism," "Socialism," and "Social Science": Further Notes on a Process of Conceptual Formation, 1800-1850". Journal of the History of Ideas 47 (1): 81-93. doi:10.2307/2709596. 
  4. ^ Scollon, Ronald. Intercultural Communication. Blackwell Publishing. 2001. p. 221
  5. ^ Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-19-286092-5
  6. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm (2005). Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-17232-4.
  7. ^ Bertrand Russel, Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950 (edited by Robert C. Marsh), London: George Allen & Unwin.
  8. ^ Bertrand Russel, Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950 (edited by Robert C. Marsh), London: George Allen & Unwin.
  9. ^ Bertrand Russel, Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1914, Chicago and London: Open Court Publishing.
  10. ^ Bertrand Russel, Authority and the Individual, 1949, London: George Allen & Unwin.

A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Professor Steven Michael Lukes, D.Phil. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

Further reading

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1847). Self-Reliance. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd.. ISBN. 
  • Dumont, Louis (1986). Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-16958-8. 
  • Lukes, Steven (1973). Individualism. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-631-14750-0. 
  • Renaut, Alain (1999). The Era of the Individual. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02938-5. 
  • Rand, Ayn (1964). The Virtue of Selfishness. Signet Book. ISBN 0-451-16393-1. 
  • Shanahan, Daniel. (1991) Toward a Genealogy of Individualism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-870-23811-6.
  • Watt, Ian. (1996) Myths of Modern Individualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-48011-6.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early nineteenth century. ... Pierre Étienne Louis Dumont (19th century) fr:Louis Dumont (1911-1998), a French sociologist, famous for his 1984 book on individualism and holism. ... The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the U.S. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of texts covering... Professor Steven Michael Lukes, D.Phil. ... HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. ... The Princeton University Press is a publishing house, a division of Princeton University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... Ayn Rand (IPA: , February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum (Russian: ), was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher. ... The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism is a 1964 collection of essays and papers by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden. ...

See also

Anarchist redirects here. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Anarcho-capitalism refers to an anti-statist philosophy that embraces capitalism as one of its foundational principles. ... In finance, a contrarian takes the view that widespread pessimism tends to lead to market rallies and that widespread optimism tends to lead to market slumps. ... Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Individualist anarchism (also anarchist individualism, anarcho-individualism, individualistic anarchism) refers to any of several traditions that hold that individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public... This article is about the political philosophy based on private property rights. ... This article is about the philosophy of Ayn Rand. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. ... Self-ownership or sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty is the condition where an individual has the exclusive moral right to control his or her own body and life. ... The Tragedy of the Commons is a type of social trap, often economic, that involves a conflict over resources between individual interests and the common good. ... The tragedy of the anticommons is a situation where rational individuals (acting separately) collectively waste a given resource by under-utilizing it. ... Communitarianism as a group of related but distinct philosophies began in the late 20th century, opposing radical individualism, and other similar philosophies while advocating phenomena such as civil society. ... Individuation comprises the processes whereby the undifferentiated becomes or develops individual characteristics, or the opposite process, by which components of an individual are integrated into a more indivisible whole. ...

External links

Philosophy Portal
Image File history File links Socrates. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Individualism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1299 words)
Individualism is a moral, political, and social philosophy, which emphasizes individual liberty, the primary importance of the individual, and the "virtues of self-reliance" and "personal independence".
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Proponents of such public initiatives and social responsibility argue that their policies are beneficial for the individual, and that excessive individualism may actually hurt the individuals themselves.
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