Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: On the Relationship of Part to Whole, 1859-1920

Palgrave-Macmillan (2010)

Abstract
Beginning with a widespread definition of Decadence as when individual parts flourish at the expense of the whole, Regenia Gagnier - a leading cultural historian of late nineteenth-century Britain - shows the full range of meanings of individualism at the height of its promise. From Darwin and Mill to the Fin de Siècle and beyond, Gagnier establishes the individual in relation to its theoretical and practical contexts: the couple and parent/child dyad; the workshop and community; the nation and state; cosmopolis and world-citizenship. She concludes that the relation of individual to social or part to whole is better understood in terms of dynamic functions than fixed identities. Some highlights in this richly detailed study include: the evolutionary and developmental sciences of the individual; Herbert Spencer and the Individualists; Matthew Arnold and the Culturalists; the New Women, Female Aesthetes, and Socialist Individualists; poetry and the Philosophy of the Will; Gypsy Lorists and Cultural Philanthropy; Nietzsche’s Good Europeans and Late Victorian Cosmopolitans; the doctrine of mystical substitution of the one for the many. No one gives a fuller picture of the individual in modernity
Keywords Individualism  Humanitarianism  Globalization
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Call number B824.G34 2010
ISBN(s) 0230247431   9780230247437   1349319953
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