Are You an Individualist or Collectivist?

Fragmentary marble head of a girl, ca. A.D. 138–161 Roman, Mid-Imperial, Antonine Marble; Overall: 9 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 3 in. (23.2 x 11.4 x 7.6 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1911 (11.212.5) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/248586

Are you an individualist or collectivist? Do you consider your individual rights or your group identity more important to you?

Before you answer, let’s make sure we define the philosophical terms.

Individualism:

Individualism. The political stance that the rights of individuals should be protected over that of collectives, such as states, religions or social groups.

Collectivism:

Collectivism. A view that places emphasis on the group over the individual, often holding the belief that the “greater good” of the group is more important than the good of any individual within it.

While classical liberals, the American transcendentalists and most existentialists place the individual at the center of ethical and political questions, many on the Left who have espoused Marxist ideas, or postmodern versions of Marx, are committed to the shared experience of the group.

Which philosophers do you most identify with? Who gets your heart racing?

Communists: Karl Marx, V. I. Lenin, and Chairman Mao.

Postmodern Philosophers: Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Edward Said

Transcendentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman.

Existentialists: Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus.

Individualism

philographics-individualism
Individualism Postcard from Philographics: Postcard Book by Genís Carreras

Collectivism

philographics-collectivism
Collectivism Postcard from Philographics: Postcard Book by Genís Carreras

 

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