Identity Politics, Empathy, And Reason script

A person striving for freedom becomes more and more a unique and creative individuality.
Free human beings develop their own traits and roles for their own reasons.
But the view that a human being is able to develop into a completely independent free individuality seems to be contradicted by the facts.

By no choice of our own, we are born into a race, an ethnicity, a gender, a family, a nation and often a religion.
As a result of our birth we acquire the characteristics and identity of a group.
If we choose to become a free self-determined individuality we must create our own self-identity.

Our self-identity is created with thought.
Thinking has no limits.
This means our individual-identity has no limits.
Our group-identity confines us within the limitations of the group and groupthink.
Our individual-identity allows us to form our own views, and strive to become who we wish.

There are now many university studies programs offered to learn about various group identities and experiences of race, ethnicity, being a women, and gender sexuality.
None of this kind of academic research is able to reach the unique character of the single individual.
The only way to understand an individuality is to listen to their view of the world and observe their striving.

There is a need for our universities to also offer students “Individuality Studies” programs.
Many people lack the ability to recognize a person’s unique individuality, and instead only see stereotypical group-identities.
Individuality Studies could move students beyond the often divisive group-identity, and toward our common humanity as individuals.

Some professors and politicians are turning group-identity into identity-politics to incite outrage.
Identity-politics is when your beliefs and interests are determined by the group you belong to rather than reason.
When you feel empathy for those in your “in-group” who you believe have been wronged, that empathy can turn into anger, and even hate, toward the “other”.
This pits group against group and never ending conflict.

Social progress will not come from empathy alone.
It is recognizing universal human rights for everyone that can bring us all together rather than pitting group against group.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of The Philosophy Of Freedom to add comments!

Join The Philosophy Of Freedom


  • Tom, you are doing fantastic work; many have ears and eyes but cannot hear or see. The ideas your espousing needs to be pounded home to get the message out. Having said that philosophy is not the road that most people travel; even Voltaire stated so in one of his writings three hundred years ago. Dana Morton

    • I have not had success in philosophy or anthroposophy so I see that politics and the new liberalist movement is where people are interested in freedom, individuality and ethics. They lack what TPOF offers. I hope to produce a few videos/week on these themes.

      • It's interesting that the realm of politics compared to philosophy, as a general characterization, is the realm of the will (as opposed to the "thinking" of philosophy). Communicating these ideas to a political group may get more traction because of this. Particularly where a political group has a great desire to bring a real change into the world, and are seeking to understand the best way to do this.

        Perhaps there is a similar point that Steiner makes in the POF, in terms of understanding the activity of thinking (or "active thinking"), as the part of thinking which is will-infused. Participating thoughts while they are still actively being produced, as opposed to the "finished thoughts" which come after the event of thinking is already finished.

This reply was deleted.
© Tom Last 2017