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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: January ::
Re: Development of Individualism
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0051.  Monday, 22 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Jan 1996 10:07:19 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism

(2)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 19 Jan 1996 10:38:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 19 Jan 1996 10:07:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism

Gabriel Egan;

Ye gods! Will the trials of poor academics never end? Who, I ask, who has let
this raving anti-disestablishmentarian-anarcho-syndicalist ratfink into our
sacred compound? Isn't it clear to everyone that this so-called Stephanie
Hughes fully intends to destroy the English language by inciting decent
deconstructionists to such murderous rage that they self-ignite and (she hopes)
set the entire academic establishment on fire? Won't someone rid us of this
noxious pseudo-spiritualist positivist?

Wait, I think I hear her voice emerging from a heap of smoldering aspersions!
She says she's very sorry about the missing verb, and that in fact she rather
likes being linked with Plato in some way. Her voice is weak, but what I think
she's saying is that since stone age communities are still in existence here
and there in the world, it should be all right to speak of them in the present
as well as the past. Now she's saying (in a much stronger voice) that if you're
nice to her, very, very nice, she'll make an effort to substantiate her
comments regarding the systematic destruction of the revels by an increasingly
puritannical establishment, and the effect that this may have had on the "rise"
of "individualism." She may even define "establishment."

Well, she really seems pretty harmless. Perhaps we should let the poor thing
live!

A Well-wisher

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 19 Jan 1996 10:38:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0042  Re: Development of Individualism

I am confused about Shirley Kagan's confusion about my post regarding the rise
of individualism. She questions my observation that humans are herd animals,
suggesting that perhaps some enlightened individuals early on decided that
banding together in groups might work better than going it alone (singly? in
couples?) in the wilderness forests and savannahs of neolithic times. Common
sense would argue against this possibility even if standard anthropological
models did not. She seems also to be questioning a separation between the
reality of individualism (i.e. the obvious fact that we are indeed, phyiscally
separate beings) and its function as a concept. There is a saying in Zen
Buddhism about not mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon
itself. I see the reality of the separation of individuals as the moon, while
the concept of "individualism" is the finger pointing. There is always a moon.
The philosophic finger of consciousness only points to it under certain
conditions which arise along with the cultural phenomena we lump together under
the concept "civilization." It is my guess that the concept of individualism
only arises when this separateness becomes unpleasant, when society fragments,
causing survival anxiety and loneliness, so that the phenomenon of separateness
requires discussion, and terms with which to discuss it.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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