|Formatted Contents Note:
|| Preface -- Introduction -- pt. I: Individuality -- Wilhelm von Humboldt, "Of the individual man, and the highest ends of his existence" -- John Stuart Mill, "Of individuality, as one of the elements of well-being" -- Oscar Wilde, from 'The soul of man under socialism' -- Michel de Montaigne, "Of preparation" -- pt. II: Social individualism -- J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, from "What is an American?" -- St. Augustine of Hippo, from 'The city of God' -- Nathaniel Niles, from 'Two discourses on liberty' -- Voltairine de Cleyre, from "The dominant idea" -- Mary Wollstonecraft, from 'A vindication of the rights of woman' -- Moses Harman, "Marriage of Lillian Harman and Edwin C. Walker" -- pt. III: Moral individualism -- Richard Overton, 'An arrow against all tyrants' -- Peter Annet, from 'Social bliss considered' -- Lysander Spooner, from "Vices are not crimes: a vindication of moral liberty" -- Henry Wilson, "Archbishop Temple on betting" -- Francis Dashwood Tandy, from 'Voluntary socialism' -- Josiah Warren, from 'True civilization' -- Thomas Hodgskin, from 'The natural and artificial right of property contrasted -- pt. IV: Political individualism -- William Wollaston, from 'The religion of nature delineated' -- Angelina E. Grimke, from 'Letters to Catherine E. Beecher' -- Auberon Herbert, from 'The voluntaryist creed' -- pt. V: Religious individualism -- Elisha Williams, from 'The essential rights and liberties of protestants' -- George Jacob Holyoake, from "Free thought -- its conditions, agreements, and secular results" -- Robert G. Ingersoll, from "Individuality" -- pt. VI: Economic individualism -- Henry Wilson, 'A catechism of individualism' -- Antoine de Tracy, from 'A treatise on political economy' -- H.M. Robertson, from 'Aspects of the rise of economic individualism'.
|| Individualism is one of most criticized and least understood ideas in social and political thought. Is individualism the ability to act independently amidst a web of social forces? A vital element of personal liberty and a shield against conformity? Does it lead to or away from unifying individuals with communities? Individualism: A Reader provides a wealth of illuminating essays from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. In 26 selections from 25 writers individualism is explained and defended, often from unusual perspectives. This anthology includes not only selections from well-known writers, but also many lesser-known pieces--reprinted here for the first time--by philosophers, social theorists, and economists who have been overlooked in standard accounts of individualism. The depth and complexity of ideas about individualism are reflected in the six sections in this collection. The first examines individuality generally, with the following five detailing social, moral, political, religious, and economic individualism. Throughout, individualism is analyzed and defended through the lenses of classical liberalism, free-market libertarianism, individual anarchism, voluntary socialism, religious individualism, abolitionism, free thought, and radical feminism. Both richly historical and sharply contemporary, Individualism: A Reader provides a multitude of perspectives and insights on personal liberty and the history of freedom.