Landmarks in the Emergence of Individuality in Western Civilization

Landmarks in the Emergence of Individuality in Western Civilization

History can be viewed from many perspectives. The following chronology examines various steps and stages in the evolution of Individuality in Western Civilization. The ordering of the steps can only be approximate since most of them occur over a long period of time and gradually spread from a small initial footing in society until they eventually permeate the entire population, sometimes many centuries after their initial appearance. This list of contributing factors is arbitrary and incomplete, for on closer examination it becomes evident that virtually every new development in society has some impact, direct or indirect, on the eventual emergence of individuality. This is also true of other aspects of social development, such as knowledge, organization, technology, skill, values, culture, etc. Viewed from a historical perspective, it appears that the entire trend and evolutionary aim of the subconscious social movement has been society's long preparation and progressive unfolding of the extraordinary powers and capacities of the individual.

I.    Dawn of Civilization        

  1. Physical Leader: The outstanding warrior is made leader of the tribe and given power to decide on behalf of the group. He has to take responsibility for others, think on behalf of the group and consider their wider interest, not merely follow others or consider his own welfare. The physical leader develops attributes of individuality which later spread to those at lower levels of the emerging social hierarchy.
  2. Agriculture: