Philosophy, Social Theory, and the Thought of George Herbert Mead

Edited by Mitchell Aboulafia

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Paperback : 9780791403600, 319 pages, January 1991
Hardcover : 9780791403594, 319 pages, January 1991

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Table of contents




Part 1: Context

1. G. H. Mead, Socialism, and the Progressive Agenda
Dmitri N. Shalin

2. Mead's Position in Intellectual History and His Early Philosophical Writings
Hans Joas

Part 2: Functionalism and Social Behaviorism

3. The Development of G. H. Mead's Social Psychology
Gary A. Cook

4. A Social Behaviorist Interpretation of the Meadian "I"
J. David Lewis

Part 3: Language

5. The Paradigm Shift in Mead
Jurgen Habermas

6. Mead: Symbolic Interaction and the Self
Ernst Tugendhat

Part 4: The Interpersonal and Intrapersonal

7. The Powers and Capabilities of Selves: Social and Collective Approaches
Guy E. Swanson

8. Self-Consciousness and the Quasi-Epic of the Master
Mitchell Aboulafia

Notes and References

Bibliography of Recent Secondary Literature on G. H. Mead



This book brings together some of the finest recent critical and expository work on Mead, written by American and European thinkers from diverse traditions. For English-speaking audiences it provides an introduction to recent European work on Mead. The essays reveal the richness of Mead's thought, and will stimulate those who have thought about him from very specific vantage points (behaviorism, symbolic interactionism, pragmatism, etc. ) to consider him in new ways.

Mitchell Aboulafia is Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, University of Houston-Clear Lake.


"Mead is arguably the greatest neglected American philosopher. In many respects, he ranks with Peirce, James, and Dewey, and in at least one respect beyond them: he is the preeminent theorist of self-other relations after Hegel. Now that this topic has finally made it onto the philosophical agenda, and now that Mead's interdisciplinary approach to it has become an incentive rather than an impediment, the time has come for a serious reception of his work. Leading German thinkers like Jürgen—Habermas, Hans Joas, and Ernst Tugendhat have recently made outstanding contributions to that reception. The selections from their work and from the best recent English-language discussions make Aboulafia's collection the right book at the right time. "—Thomas McCarthy Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University

"Given the rigorous revival of Classical American Philosophy, it is fortuitous that Mitchell Aboulafia has assembled these fine essays on the seminal thought of George Herbert Mead. As with Marx and Dewey, Mead contended, brilliantly, that we are creatures who come to consciousness on an irreducibly social matrix. "—John J. McDermott, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Texas A&M University