Essay on The Individual or Society

Essay on The Individual or Society

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“Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.” What is the concept of the individual? The common notation is one who separates from society in the pursuit of his or her own needs, goals, and desires; to define his or her own self and to gain independence and self-reliance. However, an individual must enter into society to further his or her own self interest. Due to that contradiction, individualism is often contrasted with society or anti-individualism. Does the interest of the individual produce society or does the interest of society produce the individual? To defend individualism will be Soren Kierkegaard and to defend society will be Bertolt Brecht. What is the price of individuality and is it worth the cost?

To be an individual is to have individual thoughts, however our actions throughout our life are far from individualistic. Our thoughts are there only to fulfill a certain action. Since it is our actions that allow us to interact with others, it is our individual thoughts that alone separate us from them. Our individuality is for the benefit of only ourselves. In general, our personality is our individuality. The concept of the individual emerged, across western society, at the end of the middle ages (1200-1400), with the rise and expansion of a new social class: the bourgeoisie.
Feudal society saw the emergence of the hierarchy of social groups, making people dependent on others. On the shoulders of the common grew an enormous parasitic tree with kings at its summit. This pyramid of social existence determined the rights and duties of its citizens, and the rights were nearly all at the top of the social scale. At the end of the middle ages, history became the scene for the...


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...Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.
"Oscar Wilde - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011. .
"Søren Kierkegaard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011. .
they, other interests as well as those of production;. "Man and Society." Marxists Internet Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011. .
they, other interests as well as those of production;. "Man and Society." Marxists Internet Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011. .

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