Mankind and the Planet

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Mankind and the Planet, past, present and future Philosophical Speculations

Page 20


It is the relation of the mind as world property to an individual body that makes individuality.  Individuality and identity are not created by the world property, mind, nor by the body, but by their relationship. The relationship is unique and unrepeatable, given the fact that the body is a thing that exists only once. However, the problem of individuality does not end there. Since it is not the body alone, but the body together with the world factor, the mind, that creates the individuality, the potential for similarity of relationships is such that the occurrence of a very high degree of similarity could actually be tantamount to a repeat individuality. Perhaps individuality could be understood as the individuality of a 'wave' of water which, at every moment, repeats with new particles of water. Thus, an individuality can be 'reborn', born anew, if the bodily, the physical condition is similar to the preceding bodily condition. It would seem to be an instinctive awareness of  this situation that lies at the root of the impulse of procreation.

[The text is obviously unfinished. I believe, however,  that all the main points of Unger's thesis on 'Man and the Planet' have been made, even though the thinking on Man as individual is cut short. Esther Ehrman]