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On the Individual: Metaphysics & Politics

  • Author(s): Heslin, Ryne
  • Advisor(s): Bratton, Benjamin
  • et al.
Abstract

The individual--as well as the subject and ideology--have two modes of existence. One is that of potentiality, of the collective ontogenetic content of the individual as it is shared with the universe; animated by the constitutive power of material reality; developing and progressing towards subjecthood; ideologically making sense of its environment; constructing social organizations which respond to this “making sense of”; capable of building a collective individual and thus a collective ideology--responding to and resolving social incompatibilities. Another is that of reality, of the singular and totalizing real world expression of the individual as it is institutionally implemented; alienated by the ideology of the ruling class; falsely abstracted into a mathematical and economic model of rationality; intentionally inundated in information that emphasizes individual freedom; increasingly global in scale, increasingly unstable--an incompatibility waiting to be resolved. The following text attempts to present a lineage of this development over time, beginning with the universal qualities which construct the former mode in Part I, and progressing to the institutions and historical tactics which helped construct the totalizing latter mode in Part II. Ultimately I wish to demonstrate that the individual, the subject, ideology, and even the State have the potential to be implemented for the mutual flourishing and free development of the collective individual.

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