American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or process of individuating, especially the process by which social individuals become differentiated one from the other.
- n. The condition of being individuated; individuality.
- n. Philosophy The development of the individual from the general or universal.
- n. Philosophy The distinction or determination of the individual within the general or universal.
- n. In Jungian psychology, the gradual integration and unification of the self through the resolution of successive layers of psychological conflict.
- n. Embryology Formation of distinct organs or structures through the interaction of adjacent tissues.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In metaphysics, the determination or contraction of a general nature to an individual mode of existence; the development of the individual from the general. The principle of individuation is the (supposed) general cause of such transformation of the general into the individual. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries there was much controversy among the scholastic philosophers as to what this principle may be, whether matter or form, or a peculiar and indescribable hæcceity. The difficulty has reappeared in later metaphysical thought, as in the philosophy of Schopenhauer; it is, indeed, inherent in every idealistic system which begins with thought, or the general, as the first principle.
- n. Separate or individual existence or independence; that by which such individuality is developed and maintained.
- n. In biology: A general term summarizing the conditions for the maintenance and perpetuation of an individual organism, when these conditions are considered collectively and in contrast with those which conduce to the generation of new beings.
- n. A unifying principle or a cause of individuality.
- n. The unification of two distinct types of organisms into an individual whole, such as the lichen-thallus.
- n. The process of individuating or individualizing.
- n. philosophy The distinction of the individual from the general or universal.
- n. biology The differentiation of tissues.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of individuating or state of being individuated; individualization.
- n. discriminating the individual from the generic group or species
- n. the quality of being individual
“There are no body cells of any kind, and an important event has not occurred, which we call individuation where these cells have started down the path of becoming a human being.”
“She called this process separation-individuation, in which the term separation refers to the infant’s gradual disengagement from a fused state with the primary love object, and the term individuation signifies the development of the child’s unique characteristics Goldstein, 1995: 117-127.”
“In The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer often refers to the principle of sufficient reason as the principle of individuation, thereby linking the idea of individuation with space and time, mainly, but also with rationality, necessity, systematicity and determinism.”
“That flowering differentiation which is called individuation was begun in the affirmation of a denial -- the affirmation of the rights of the single over the many and the denial of the power of environment.”
“The first of these principles, which we have before alluded to and described, is that of "individuation;" that principle by which an infant or child is induced to concentrate the powers of its mind upon a new object, and that to the exclusion for the time of every other, till it has become acquainted with it.”
“Hence also dimensive quantity has of itself a kind of individuation, so that we can imagine several lines of the same species, differing in position, which is included in the notion of this quantity; for it belongs to dimension for it to be "quantity having position" (Aristotle, Categor. iv), and therefore dimensive quantity can be the subject of the other accidents, rather than the other way about.”
“Most significant of all for the social problem of sex, is the overwhelming tendency to individuation which is making both men and women frankly question whether marriage and parenthood are worth while when they involve so much personal sacrifice.”
“This fits with the concerns expressed in Yalom’s version of existential psychotherapy (Yalom, 1980, 439), where self-transcendence takes a on a meaning closer to Maslow’s self-actualization or Jung’s individuation, which is the F5 (individuation) task to be resolved.”
“Thus one may be inclined to abandon the word antagonism, and to say merely that there is a necessary inverse ratio between "individuation" and "genesis," to use the original Spencerian terms.”
“The propensity to codify sports, to standardize the weight and size of their implements, and to reduce them to what Spencer calls regimentation, is a outcrop of uniformitarianism that works against that individuation which is one of the chief advantages of free play.”
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