The literary work produced by Caroline Bynum entitled, "Did the Twelfth Century Discover the Individual," strongly argues that people between the time period of 1050 C.E. to 1200 C.E. sought to define the "self." Admittedly, I am not as knowledgeable as Caroline Bynum on this particular time period, but I believe an equally strong argument can be made that the twelfth century was indeed a definitive search for "the individual.
"The controversy arises with the connotations of "self" and "individual." My definition of "self" relates to the intrapersonal components of a human being such as ego, conscious, and esteem.This encapsulates the inner workings of a person.Comparatively, "individual" refers to a much broader sense of the intellectual make-up but also the behavior that results. Thefirst irrefutable point is that people of this period in history were in transition from feudal structured communities to a more liberal society.
Before the eleventh century, people were categorized into one of three groups.With urbanization and renewed interest in Athenian philosophers and ancient writings people began to distinguish themselves.These people did seek to discover the "self" through theological and philosophical principles.However, in the attempt of finding the "self" they sought to make their own niche in society through an individualistic attempt to attack the Church, the Order, and the Thought.Most notably, Peter Abelard strives his entire life to make a name for himself.
His autobiography was not merely about his "self" but of the "individual" he was.His experiences and his behavior inundated himself.This caused a spilling over effect onto those that admired or even detested him(meaning he affected them).Abelard did not seek to define hi! s "self" but rather wanted those in society to defi.