Conformism As A Political And Social Philosophy Of Individualism
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Individualism is “a political and social philosophy that places high value on the freedom of the individual”(Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2003，295).In a board sense, it can be an act, a belief and a doctrine that focuses on individuals in fields like politics, economics and culture. The notion of individualism occurred early in the ancient Greek civilization, but a complete theory was not coined until the modern times. Through years of development, it becomes a typical Western value that has been thought to distinguish Western society from other societies. Among the West, America has been regarded as a defining example that stresses individualism as its core value (Deng 2005).
As a general philosophy, individualism involves “a value system, a theory of human nature, a general attitude or temper and belief in certain political, economic, social, and religious arrangements” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2003,295). First, the value system consists of three opinions: “all values are man-centered …; the individual is an end in him and is of supreme value, society being only a means to individual ends; and all individuals are in some sense morally equal” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2003,295). Second, the theory of human nature is a kind of capitalist’s abstract theory of human nature (Song 2003). It focuses on individuals and believes that “the interests of the normal adult are best served by allowing him maximum freedom and responsibility for choosing his objectives and the