Individual It is a term with origin in Latin individuus and that refers to what cannot be divided . It is, therefore, a independent unit (versus others units) or one elementary unit (regarding a system higher).
The concept implies various considerations in the field of logic and the philosophy . An individual is one versus a plurality (many individuals). The individual, therefore, has an individual referent, although it can also be an indeterminate individual of a certain class.
For example: a trio of friends who walk down the street is made up of three individuals. Each of them has a name (Juan , Richard and Pedro ) but, for those who do not know their identities, there are only three individuals. This group, however, can be considered as one in front of other groups of people. Thus, depending on the context, one could speak of an individual group among a multitude of groups.
The individuality of each living being can be analyzed from various points of view; the most widely accepted conception associates it with traits unique and unrepeatable of each one, and in this way of understanding it two possible valuations emerge: that each individual is indispensable, since there is no way to replace it with another; that only certain individuals are important, and in the characteristics of each one are the reasons to decide who they are.
All movement in favor of rights of living beings rely on that each individual is worth and must be respected, so that no form of discrimination can be accepted to decide who can live; Specism is one of the worst combinations of misunderstandings and contradictions, since it gives certain species the right to be loved and protected, and to others, the condemnation of being exploited and killed, but also establishes a hierarchy among their respective individuals.
It is interesting to emphasize that we do not usually meet individuals who are not part of a group: both the beings that belong to the same speciesLike those who share their roots or beliefs, we start from a common origin to carry out the distinction of indivisible entities. Therefore, there is a nuance that links the quality of unique and independent to the position within a larger system, in which no individual is alone.
Philosophical issues aside, in the colloquial language the notion of the individual is used to name any person whose name and condition are ignored: “Four individuals were admitted for robbery purposes and were repelled by the police authority, fleeing immediately”.
In everyday speech, the use of the term individual to refer to a person is not common, since it can have derogatory and offensive dyes. On the other hand, in areas such as the police or the scientist its use is normal, to get away from any subjective connotation and be able to observe a situation or phenomenon with the technical tools of each field.
Within the family of this word is the adjective "individual", which also has various uses, some more technical than others. It is called individual rights, for example, to those enjoyed by each individual and which no ruler can restrict, which makes them immanent, imprescriptible and inalienable.
Each being animal or organized vegetable with respect to the species to which it belongs also receives the name of individual: "This is an individual of the same race, although smaller".
Another use of the term is linked to the person belonging to a corporation or class: “An individual from the Uruguayan Dance Academy was distinguished in an international competition”.