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Study Course Steps #1-#12

0. Introduction: The Goal Of Knowledge
Part 1 Individual Life

TOPIC
Compare Individuality with Conformity

 "I believe one of the fundamental characteristics of our age is that human interest centers in the cultus of individuality." TPOF 0.0

Conformist Culture
Conformist culture centers around group identity. It values groupthink, collective goals and group achievement. The conformist uncritically or habitually thinks and acts in the way expected according to the customs and rules of a group norm.

  

Individualistic Culture
Individualistic culture centers around individual identity. It values independent thinking, personal goals and individual achievement. An individualist does things in their own way without worrying about what other people think or do.

     
STEP #1 Authority (0.0)

Compare Submission with Resist Authority

Submission To Authority
Conformist: Does not question authority. Passively submits to the control of authority.

  

Resist Authority
Individualist: Questions authority. An energetic effort is made to shake off every kind of authority.

     
STEP #2 Validation (0.0)

Compare Expert with Individual Validation

Expert Validation
Conformist: The conformist accepts nothing as valid, unless its source is recognized experts or respected institutions.

 

Individual Validation
Individualist: The individualist accepts nothing as valid, unless it springs from the inner source of individuality. He does his own research and thinking to verify a truth.

     
STEP #3 Empowerment (0.0)

Compare Distracted with Commitment To Self-Development


Distracted From Self-Development
Conformist: Distracted by things that prevent personal growth and empowerment.

  

Commitment To Self-Development
Individualist: Puts aside those things that prevent personal growth and empowerment.

     
STEP #4 Hero (0.0)

Compare A Follower with Find Own Way

Follow Your Hero
Conformist: Choose a hero and follow their footsteps in the struggle up the mountain.

 

Find Own Way
Individualist: A hero to himself who finds his own way in the struggle up the mountain. After reaching the top he is able help others find their own way.

     
STEP #5 Ideals (0.0)

Compare Required Ideals with Individual Ideals

Accepts Required Ideals
Conformist: Accepts the ideals required by the group or given by another.

 

Individual Ideals
Individualist: Selects own ideals and allows no ideals to be forced upon him.

     
STEP #6 Human Worth (0.0)

Compare Some Are Worthy with All Are Worthy

Some Are Worthy
Conformist: Only some of us have value and are worthy of development.

 

All Are Worthy
Individualist: If we look in the heart of each one all of us have value and are worthy of development.

     
STEP #7 Social Norm (0.0)

Compare Normal with Striving To Be Yourself

Strive To Be Normal
Conformist: There is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform.

 

Strive To Be Yourself
Individualist: No longer believes in a norm of human life. Strive to be yourself.

     
STEP #8 Social Perfection (0.0)

Compare Perfection Of Few with Perfection Of Each

Perfection Of Few
Conformist: The perfection of the whole depends on the perfection of a few.

  Perfection Of Each
Individualist: The perfection of the whole depends on the unique perfection of each single individual.
     
STEP #9 Contribution To Society (0.0)

Compare Collective Action with Individual Action

Collective Action
Conformist: Satisfied in contributing to the development of the world doing what anyone else can do equally well.

  Individual Action
Individualist: Our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something that by reason of the uniqueness of our nature we alone can offer.
     
STEP #10 Creativity (0.0)

Compare Rules Of Expression with Free Expression

Rules Of Expression
Conformist: Limit expression to what is acceptable according to the established rules and norms. Political correctness.

  Right To Free Expression
Individualist: Asserts the individual right to freely express what is unique in each person.
     
STEP #11 Language (0.0)

Compare Formal Diction with Informal Diction

Formal Diction
Conformist: The grammar police demand standard diction and correct grammar. Academics use specialized language making their papers only of value to other academics.

  Informal Diction
Individualist: Creative writers make up words, change word meanings, or use slang if that best expresses intended meaning.
     

Step #12 Freedom (0.0)
Compare Dependence with Independence 

“No better expression for these phenomena can be found than this, they result from the individual’s striving towards freedom, developed to its highest pitch.” TPOF 0.0

Dependent On Others
Conformist: Being dependent on others is a stage of growth on the way to personal responsibility. A person who remains a dependent is not making progress toward becoming a fully developed free human being.

  Independent Of Others

Individualist: A person striving for freedom does not want to be dependent in any way. Dependence is tolerated only on the condition it coincides with a vital interest of one's individuality.

Part 2 Of The Goal Of Knowledge Next

Part 1 was about individual life. Part 2 is about the pursuit of inner truth. Truth also, is sought in our age in the depths of human nature.

BOOK TEXT
Chapter 0. THE GOAL OF KNOWLEDGE
Part One 
0.0 Striving For Individuality

[1] I BELIEVE one of the fundamental characteristics of our age is that human interest centers in the cultus of individuality. An energetic effort is being made to shake off every kind of authority. Nothing is accepted as valid, unless it springs from the roots of individuality. Everything that hinders the individual from fully developing his powers is thrust aside. The saying “Each one of us must choose his hero in whose footsteps he toils up to Mount Olympus” no longer holds true for us. We allow no ideals to be forced upon us. We are convinced that in each of us, if only we probe deep enough into the very heart of our being, there dwells something noble, something worthy of development. We no longer believe there is a norm of human life to which we must all strive to conform. We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual. We do not want to do what anyone else can do equally well. No, our contribution to the development of the world, however trifling, must be something that, by reason of the uniqueness of our nature, we alone can offer. Never have artists been less concerned about rules and norms in art than today. Each one asserts the right to express, in the creations of his art, what is unique in him. Just as there are playwrights who write in slang rather than conform to the standard diction grammar demands.

[2] No better expression for these phenomena can be found than this, they result from the individual’s striving towards freedom, developed to its highest pitch. We do not want to be dependent in any respect, and where dependence must be, we tolerate it only on condition it coincides with a vital interest of our individuality.

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© Tom Last 2017