Tag Archives: George Herbert Mead

January 26

Everything Exists in Relationship

Things do not exist unless they exist in relationship with something else. In fact, things do not exist at all. Relationships exist. There are no individual things. The existence of anything is always contingent upon something else. When I was an undergraduate student I studied physics, but my favorite course in four years was one […]

The Transformation of the Present Moment

Generally we assume that the world just exists – sitting there dead and meaningless – the object of our perceptions. The world doesn’t just exist – it shows up. It presents itself to us through layers of interpretation. William James talked about our experience of the world as being ‘thick’ – thick with layers of […]

Everything Exists in Relationship

Things do not exist unless they exist in relationship with something else. In fact, things do not exist at all. Relationships exist. There are no individual things. The existence of anything is always contingent upon something else. When I was an undergraduate student I studied physics, but my favorite course in four years was one […]

American Common Sense – or – How to Change the Truth

The American mind has been constructed on a few obvious attitudes and assumptions about life. One is a pronounced idealistic streak. The Europeans that settled in this land believed that they were creating a new world and – for better or worse – they became infused with an almost unshakeable belief in the assumption that progress […]

Is a Dog Really a Dog?

One of the great philosophical dividing lines has always been the line that separates the particular from the universal – the unique from the general.  We live in a world of both particulars and universals and philosophers have long argued over which is more real. Nominalists say that it is only the particulars that are […]

The Objective Reality of Language

We live in a universe of discourse – a flowing ever-adjusting transfer of information. If you want to see the world the way that George Herbert Mead and the other American Pragmatists saw it you have to understand that. Reality (or at least a great deal of it) is an affair of language because it […]

Learning to be a Self

George Herbert Mead said a self is a subject that is an object to itself. A subject is a perceiving thing and a self is a perceiving thing that can perceive itself.  Human beings are self reflective beings. We are able to perceive ourselves. How did we learn to be self reflective? When you look […]

Into The Human Flow

I am currently completely captivated by the image of a Human Flow. The American Pragmatist philosophers developed a view of humanity as a constant flow of activity and society was a flow of flows. There is always a flow that organizes what people do, say and think. And there are local flows that flow into […]

Mead, Mind and World

George Herbert Mead is the fourth major figure in Classical American Pragmatism. Mead studied philosophy at Harvard while William James chaired the department. He taught with John Dewey at the University of Michigan before they both left there to teach at the University of Chicago. Mead is known more as a sociologist than a philosopher […]