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Individuation comprises the processes whereby the undifferentiated becomes or develops individual characteristics, or the opposite process by which components of an individual are integrated into a more indivisible whole.
The term serves sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, theologians and embryologists, among others, and thus has been variously defined by different scholars, including Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Erik Erikson, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Charles Darwin. Nietzsche, for example, offers an extensive discussion of the tension between impartial, chaotic fluidity and individuated subjectivity in The Birth of Tragedy, these dichotomic qualities embodied by the Dionysian and Apollonian respectively. Nietzsche claims that the perpetual, unresolvable tension between these two opposing aspects of nature fosters the conditions necessary for the creation of tragic art.
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