definition of individual

The concept of the individual is undoubtedly of great complexity and richness. In technical terms, it symbolizes everything that cannot be divided, although in general terms, it is used to refer to the human being or man, as it cannot be divided or fragmented. The individual is thus the smallest and simplest unit of complex social systems and also the source from which they are established and organized.

The definition of the concept of the individual can be established at various levels. If one begins with the ontological level, of its existence, there is no doubt that the notion of the individual was deeply enriched by the theories of the French philosopher R. Descartes who proposed the famous phrase "I think, therefore I am". Through it, the individual is such as long as he has the ability to think, reflect and use his rational gifts. At the same time, this phrase recognizes the positioning of the individual in an environment in which he exists, thus linking himself with everything that surrounds him.

In another sense, the idea of ​​the individual as a unique and unrepeatable being that cannot be copied or imitated has also been proposed since each one arises in a specific environment, with certain physical capacities and in a specific historical-spatial context. All these elements transform him into an indivisible being in himself and particular since they give him the characteristics and traits that he will possess (to a large extent) throughout his life.

However, the individual as a human being is not a previously designed and pre-established element but, on the contrary, he is a person capable of learning, receiving knowledge, acquiring skills and developing culture. Here then enters the role that the environment and coexistence with other individuals in society occupy for an individual to become such.