The Individual and Society

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In this paper I will try to explain the puzzle of whether individuals are products of society or society is a product of individuals. I believe that in general, and in the beginning, the answer to this question, is that society is a human product. I will start by presenting early man, the hunter and gatherer as an early form of society, but lacking critical qualities of a society. Then I will continue to support my theory by analyzing the beginning of known society some three and one half thousands years ago. I will present the individual as creation of society, or more precisely, an ongoing social recursive conditioning. I will also present society as creation of individuals. Finally, I will conclude my paper with some thoughts on the paradox of who is the product and who is the producer of the individual and society. EARLY MAN

According to Charles Darwin, man developed from the ape. Darwin's theory of evolution appears to be unsupported though, because for thousands of years these apes have been there, but none of them have developed into human beings nor did Darwin ever find the missing link. Although unproved, there must be a process of evolution. And if there was evolutionary process, a few of the steps in-between still must be missing. Since man is not asexual, man did not, and could not, survive or prosper by himself. Early man grouped together with other hunters and gathers to form a family which brought order, direction, and stability to his life. According to Rousseau, "the earliest and only natural societies are families (Primis 192)." The point here is that the individuals choose to become a part of something larger than the individual.

But if Rousseau is correct, there was a time when the individual gave up certain freedoms to find security within a group. This is contra to Thomas Hobbes view. It was not until significant scientific advances in the nineteenth century that the view of this seventeenth century philosopher Hobbes has his views rejected. Hobbes stated that the life of early man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Hobbes thought that early man was scarcely even human and a club-wielding savage. At either rate, early man lacked the qualities that were considered by John Locke as necessary to begin a society even though it is believed that groups and families existed. Society as Product of Individuals

Some three and one half thousands years ago a group of individuals gathered their resources together to form the first civilization named Sumer. The people that lived there were called Sumerians. The Sumerians began as a primitive race stemming from the hunters and gatherers who came to the area known as southern Mesopotamia to form the first permanent human settlement. By the end of their occupation in Mesopotamia, they had created the beginnings of society as we know it today. It has been said by the locals that this place is the fabled Garden of Eden and also according to tradition, Eden existed in the marshes of this fertile land that is today known as Iraq today.

The lands of Sumer were fertile and in close relationship to two major rivers which are known as the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers today. The fertile lands were feed by the rivers and allowed the settlers to stop the migratory habits of their predecessors or early man. The constant migration of early man had prevented any real education to exist as they were always on the move in search of food and shelter. Early man was only concerned with survival, which meant that they did not have the leisure time to give thought to the development of academia. The Sumerians, which found the development of agriculture an easy task in this land, found that they had time to develop culture and devote time to academic studies. The Sumerians conceived and began development of mathematics, reading, writing skills and the written text on cunieform tablets, the wheel and agricultural technology, which are heavily relied upon in today's...
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