It is common to hear criticism of the rugged individualism that has characterized much of the American experience, especially in light of the frontier days.  The increase of postmodern thought in America over the last two decades has increased such negative assessment as we study the nation’s history. However, we must be careful not to read this debate into other venues of discussion.  For example, in philosophy and ethics, individualism may simply be a way to affirm the moral worth of individuals.  Each man must be treated with dignity and respect on his own regardless of his community. 

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