What defines a individual? What makes someone who they are?

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What defines a individual? What makes someone who they are?

What a difficult question! I believe (but could be wrong) that you are asking a question in terms of meaning, social significance, psychology, perhaps raising an ethical matter... There are two broad, distinct views to consider: one views individual persons as part of greater wholes --either in terms of societies, tribes, families, the state or the collective, perhaps a religious community or tradition. Another views the individual in terms that are very much anchored on a person's own values, desires, beliefs, action. So, the first is a kind of external point of view: how is the individual seen or should be seen in a larger context...while the latter is more internal. I suggest that a reasonable position would take the middle ground. An extreme internal position would seem to be close to absurdity: if I think I am a great musical, athletic egg, it is probably reasonable to think I am delusional. And an extreme external position would seem to be very dangerous. In some forms of Marxism, for example, your freedom and character are assessed in ways that seem to crush the understanding that individuals have an integrity of their own.

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