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March 24, 2010

Individuality, individuation, thematics, and living senses

Appropriations posting

Individuality is normally regarded from a social perspective. Even overt individualism is dependent on social perspectives (as anti-traditionalist, anti-socialist, etc., thus parasitic on sociocentric views).

Individuality can also be regarded relative to a given life, usually biographically or autobiographically. Theoretically, one might try to generalize from life studies to form an approach to individual development as such.

None of this would be an individuational approach to individuality. Individuation is at least about realizing and actualizing one’s potential. Research-psychological senses of “self-determination” are relevant, but the discussion of individuation linked at the end of this posting isn’t dwelling with others’ views. (I like a recent psychoanalyst’s theorization of Gen X culture as desire for “the designed self.”) Also, I’ve expressed interest in a notion of “autotelic self,” which I’ll flesh out later as such. (My discussion of individuation anticipates that.) But the “individuation” section of the “conceptuality...” project is not theoretical, in a usual sense, and it’s not tangibly autobiographical.

“Individuation” (linked below) is written from a place that’s both and neither autobiographical and/nor theoretical. It’s a conceptualization that’s autobiographically grounded and theoretically grounded, yet it’s largely—I was going to say philosophical, but that’s not quite right. It’s interdomainal, so to speak. Though motivated by the “conceptuality...” project—which is the horizon of the sense of individuation I’m sketching— “individuation” indirectly pertains to more than might appear: theory of art, literary psychology, ethics... The site of interdomainal writing is itself. In that regard, “individuation” is intended to be read without explanation—without need of this posting. It’s meant to be read following the previous section of the “conceptuality...” project (though I got so wound up in the writing that I seemed to forget the previous section of the project—not really).

Anyway, the entire “conceptuality...” project expresses a living sense of individuation. My discussion about individuation there is thematic, and later sections of the “conceptuality...” project will somewhat exemplify that. My real sense of individuation—living—is less a matter of thematics (though that’s integral to me) than about what I do altogether, including what’ll be done after the “conceptuality...” project. Everything I will do—going beyond longings for comprehensive “discursive integration” (¶ 6 there)—grows my living sense of individuation, which is ultimately discursive, way into my horizon.