Value lies at the core of human life. Active existence is an eccentric role to play; the one who plays it expected to answer a set of questions, and the responses that proceed determine the type of existence that results.
This tract explores a specific set of answers delivered by a particular class of living being. Value is an unusually dynamic phenomena for this character type. Identity is a key area as well; both for the character in question, and for the issues explored within this text.
Individuality is the topic at hand. To be defined is a working set of principles explaining the nature of individualistic identity, the values it manifests, and the sense of meaning it derives.
The avenue of approach towards comprehending this matter will be the internal issues of meaning within the individual implicitly. The position advanced is this: that it is only via this first person perspective that legitimate individuality can realistically interpreted and coherently actualized.
The concept of self that one references in attending to life is a defining issue. This core idea structures one’s self realization; directing one’s pursuit towards goals, defining how one relates to things external, and providing the ground from which one’s personal sense of meaning arises. Individuality takes hold of this instrumental matter known as identity, constituting a particular development of it.
The values one strives to actualize amount to the horizon of one’s life potential. The self description underlying this effort is as much direction as one has available for the sake of making stated values into accomplished realities.
All these issues, for the individual concerned with them, reside within a context of meaning. One’s personal framework of meaning provides much of what one regards as one’s world, directing how one makes sense of it.
The agenda this equates to for individualist priority is clear: to seize hold of meaning directly and constructively.
Patterns of meaningful interpretation are frequently regarded as absolute and unalterable, recognized as inevitable demands. This basic submission necessitates a forfeiture; what is lost is the possibility of creative self realization.
Individualist value apprehends meaning as a device of personal direction, interpreting independently the events it encounters and the situations it finds itself in.
The terms in which it defines these maters are a product of a specific viewpoint, known as a firsthand perspective. Primary definitions by which interpretations proceed are often a matter of convention. The comprehensions which result obscure real understanding of the solitary individual’s position and the realities it entails. The immediate facts of what one encounters are defined away, replaced by a mythology of consensus.
Via the firsthand perspective, the devotee of individual value seeks to annex meaning as a personal domain. What one witnesses is defined in terms of what it means to one individually, in the context of who one has chosen to be.
This witness responds to what is observed through freely chosen values, originally interpreted and resolutely invoked. As an agent of such owned value, the individual aspires towards an aesthetic ideal: existence as creative project.
The role of agent delivers one into worldly participation; involving one in relations, placing one in situations, and exposing this agent of value to the widest spectrum of phenomena. The narrative that results is the saga of oneself, a script of potentially epic magnitude. The resolute individual comes around to regarding this history as valuable in itself, perhaps even holding it as an underlying goal, supporting the scope of one’s direct and immediate projects. A liberated journey along a path sought out, striving for meaningful realization of personal existence, may comprise such a goal.
The task at hand is thus to outline the meaning of individuality, illustrating the identity and value concepts which compose it.
~Value and the Agent
Issues of Meaning lead to a central line of inquiry; value. Value defines life to a great extent, and the study which defines value is ethics. Particular ethical systems attempts to describe a set of values explaining why they are held and how they are interpreted. One commits specific value directed actions, and the ethical system at work attempts to explain why one acts this way.
The agenda of individuality expresses itself through value, as do all agendas. The question this poses: what type of ethical system does individuality demand? What does individualist value consist of? Ethical theories often seek to establish codes of conduct, stating expectations and prohibitions. As individuality means self determination, what room is left for ethical descriptions?
To reach a clear answer on this matter, the point to consider first is what value is; to reach an understanding of its nature and role. This basis will provide and opportunity for coherent, self determined value expression.
Value presents itself as implicit to living being. One exists, and one is aware of this existence. Value serves as a device by which one interprets this existence and its implications.
One is present within a world. This presence is dynamic; it consists not merely of static continuity but of energetic expression. This proactive display is termed volition.
Volition is the distinctive trait of the self aware being. This entity behaves intentionally towards the environment and the objects within it. Such intentional activity is an inevitable aspect of living existence. The terms of living being demand this interaction, as well as comprehension of what is related to.
A particular value system confers meaning on the goal directed behaviour one engages in. By offering a value set, acts of volition are made comprehensible in terms of who one is. When one commits an act, one’s values describe why one acts as such, providing an agenda. Values define objects in relation to oneself, making useful interaction with them possible. Acts of intent connect one to an object of will, for the sake of a goal. Whether picking an apple or throwing a rock through a window, a goal directed action utilizes objects for a purpose. This purpose is an intent, and it requires one to understand it in terms of who one is. Why does one aspire to goal? What is the meaning of one’s intent? The value concept at work provides this description, making coordinated volitional behaviour possible.
This model presents value as a tool of comprehension, a device which one uses towards intelligibly relating to one’s world. Physical behaviour propels one through space; value directives allow one to conduct this journey as oneself, as an expression of who one has chosen to be.
This illustration of value and its role distinguishes itself through a single trait: the description addresses the function of value to the to the individual agent firsthand. Value phenomena influence other schemes as well, but individualist value concepts rely on comprehension conducted in the first person.
To proceed past this metaethics, what is the ground of one’s value structure? Where does one derive the specific value priorities one holds?
One maintains an awareness of one’s own existence. This sense underlies one’s greater scheme of conscious perception, providing a platform for awareness. A corollary aspect of this perception is the is an evaluation of what it identifies: one also assigns worth to one’s own being. Implicit in perceiving one’s existence as an event, one appraises the value it holds, as well. This existential appraisal provides an equivalent platform for one’s array of value propositions.
Illustrated here is the base of attitude with which the entire range of ones value judgements are composed. The limits of one’s concept of worth and one’s attitude towards objects of value are determined here. This primary evaluation is a self directed activity, applied intrinsically. It finds dynamic expression, nonetheless. A single proactive interpretation integrates the spectrum of ones volitional acts, this integration being a product of core value.
A wide range of volition is committed by an agent of value, underlying this activity is an understanding of why one acts as such. Various value concepts refer back to a single source, a primary motive. This abstract priority is a core value.
A typical motive for this purpose would be happiness. Identified as an end in itself of goal directed behaviour, happiness does more than just set an agenda; it conveys a particular character to one’s strivings. As an alternative priority, fulfillment is an agenda appropriate to individualist identity. Fulfillment as a core value directs one towards actualizing one’s sense of meaning via achievement.
A characteristic motive, fulfillment indicates more than a mere goal. The quest for fulfillment discloses a markedly different attitude towards value, towards existence, and towards oneself.
A schematic of value has been composed thus far; the ground and function of value have been illuminated. To yet be investigated is the consideration of applied value concepts; the necessity of qualifying particular values. How does one legitimize the values that constitute one’s value set?
Assessing the absolute terms of life and describing a factual model of its success is a frequent method by which value legitimacy is attempted. Applied reason allegedly identifies the values appropriate to human existence as such.
Alternatively, one may qualify a value system personally. Reason is still at work, although its application is conducted much differently. A value set drawn from a personal sense of meaning is the subject for rational analysis; reason directing how these owned values are interpreted and actualized. This approach overcomes the lesser conceptions of legitimacy, aspiring rather to a superior standard of merit; authenticity.
Reason conveys a specific sense of things, a clear understanding along select lines. A perspective directs its application, and the understanding rational thought yields is only as deep as this perspective allows.
The perspective of owned identity interprets issues rationally in terms of itself, for the sake of goals of personal devotion. This frame of reference may use reason successfully or lapse into irrationality, but the viewpoint at work remains a separate matter; one of voluntary orientation.
Deriving one’s intentions from the world displays an attitude at work, defining intent oneself displays an entirely different attitude. While both may lay claim to reason, the scope of the situations is dictated before rational reflection occurs by the attitudes at work.
Self determined value is the ground of creative self realization. The quest for fulfillment brings one to face value directly, regarding it as a tool of self manifestation. This owned value directs a unique style of volition; one’s own.
Owned value provides an opportunity to one who holds it: the potential of aesthetic self realization. To create an existence of personal and original aesthetic merit; this is the goal. Such developed character and meaning are the province of individuality.
~Existence and Occupation
To greet the subject of analysis; the agent, on the most basic level, what can be directly posited is that the agent exists.
Apparent enough, such a pronouncement incorporates extended reflection and definition of the implications that follow. What does such an act of existence mean to the subject? How does this presence manifest itself, and what results proceed from it? As well, how does the agent its own existence from this firsthand viewpoint?
This interpretation by the agent provides the ground of comprehending the role of agency one engages in, indicating it as vital. So the task is to illustrate the self aware living being known as the agent in coherent terms.
One observes active behaviour; dynamic volitional activity towards a surrounding environment. This pattern of activity composes one as a material event, a real and solid phenomena in the world at large. Selecting volition as the material existence of the agent rather than physical constitution; anatomical structure, is out of consideration for the fact that agency is more realistically understood as dynamic expression and interaction. So concrete being is active behavioural engagement on the one’s own part; i.e., volition.
Describing personal existence in abstract terms yields a radically different picture. Sentience is a format of self perception, an awareness and comprehension of one’s own being. Self awareness is the characteristic trait of a living being, distinguishing it from anything inanimate. From the firsthand view of the agent, self awareness offers itself as the being’s constitution, seen by the being itself. So self awareness comprises the abstract aspect of human existence.
Awareness demands comprehensibility of what of what is observed; the witness must interpret intelligibly what is sensed. The structure of this intelligibility is a vital issue for personal existence, provided by meaningful understanding. In the case observing oneself and what one is, meaningful comprehension is a product of theme.
Theme is the format of meaningful self awareness. The sense of life one subscribes to and the context of meaning it delivers are a theme of life
The meaningful apprehension of one’s own existence is the phenomenal basis of human being. The term for this is thematic constitution, to be referred back to repeatedly. Stated directly, one is a theme of life.
Thematic constitution carries significant implications for individualist concern.
As an analogy, consider a drop of water. A drop is considered a distinct entity, separate and identifiable in its own right. The physical characteristic of water which facilitates this is surface tension. This quality provides the cohesion necessary to maintain the mass of liquid in this form. So long as this cohesion remains, defining the drop a an entity is realistic, portraying the mass in sensible terms.
If this drop under consideration were to fall into a puddle, defining it as an entity would no longer provide comprehension of its real state, and would be illegitimate. The physical arrangement of the material has changed, and along with it, the definitions of meaning that describe it clearly. Integration deprived the object of its distinctive character. The result is that the term ‘entity’ is no longer applicable for the sake of effective comprehension.
Self determined theme offers the agent the same cohesion that surface tension provided the drop. One’s status as an ‘entity’ is a product of constitutional integrity. If one’s abstract being presents itself as distinct and original, if one’s theme of life is owned and resolute, one’s qualification as an entity establishes itself. Defining oneself as a distinct existent is legitimate here, as the term illustrates the subject effectively.
Considering the alternative case of disowned theme, this description is inappropriate. Disowned theme is a matter of forfeiture of a basic agenda: defining one’s personal context of meaning autonomously. This accepted dictation of life theme returns a result: one can no longer meaningfully relate to oneself as a distinct abstract entity, as there remains no coherent structure to which such a definition may be applied. With this state of being at work, one dissolves into the metaphysical puddle.
The directive of individuality is apparent: to define oneself coherently.
Having illustrated the structure of the agent’s existence; being as thematic self awareness, it remains to describe this process from the viewpoint of the agent firsthand. How does one subjectively experience existence in the world, and what can be comprehended by means of describing it?
Dynamic occupation leads one on a trek through the material world, encountering other entities, selecting alternatives, and defining who one will be. Existing is experienced as a suspension between alternative possibilities of action; one is one is perpetually faced with the task of choosing. Further, one is demanded to comprehend these choices in meaningful terms.
Option is the definition of this state of affairs. It defines a core of understanding that that explains active existence from the perspective of the agent. Option is a specific mode of relating to the world, a product of this living state of being.
Volition on the agents part yields a particular format of being in the world: existence is a demand. What is demanded of the agent is a selection from among various alternatives of action. Option amounts to more than a mere dichotomy, however. As one isolates, comprehends, and acts upon choices, one defines oneself as an agent of value. One realizes one’s potentials in real terms via the options one elects towards.
What is exceptional about this path and juncture is that it is perpetual. Not simply a momentary requirement, the crossroads is a constant facet of living being. Even as one selects a course of action and meets the value it reflects, divergent paths of progress stem from one’s new line of advance once again. The requirement of value directed decision is an ongoing task, leading one’s state of being in its journey through the world one inhabits.
Understanding the structure defined as option as a route of travel along a terrain is one possible description. A deeper conception of this feature pictures it as a regard towards open space. Living being encounters space dynamically, interpreting its residence and participation meaningfully. Option reflects the character of this existence, defining the demands it confers on one who exists. Option is a mode of apprehending the void, The living agent’s method of adaptation to free space.
Yet another aspect of this process requires description. The living agent approaches the material world, and interprets this engagement through option. The attitude through which one selects one’s choices, however, is another issue.
Why does one commit to the options one does? What context of meaning underlies the path one proceeds along? As well, what sentiments drove this process?
The agent of value interprets this open venue of self actualization through a vital core of personal sentiment. One chooses, and a personal standard and vision guide the choices made. The resolute agent of self directed value acknowledges the relevance of this pivotal phenomena. A sense of responsibility to oneself directs the utilization of this freedom towards meaningful self realization. An opportunity for creative self manifestation is within reach, and this individual agent greets the opportunity with a fierce agenda. Individuality delivers intentional acts to optional choice for this reason: to inflict one’s sense of meaning upon the world.