Mead, George Herbert

born Feb. 27, 1863, South Hadley, Mass., U.S.
died April 26, 1931, Chicago, Ill.

U.S. philosopher, sociologist, and social psychologist prominent in the development of pragmatism.

He studied at Oberlin College, graduated from Harvard University (B.A., 1888), and went on to study philosophy and psychology at the Universities of Leipzig and Berlin (1888–91). Mead then taught philosophy and psychology at the University of Michigan (1891–94) with John Dewey and Charles Horton Cooley. In 1894 he joined Dewey in moving to the University of Chicago and taught there the rest of his life. Mead's focus was the relationship between the self and society, particularly the emergence of the human self in the process of social interaction. His works include The Philosophy of the Present (1932) and Mind, Self, and Society (1934). See also interactionism.

* * *

▪ American philosopher
born Feb. 27, 1863, South Hadley, Mass., U.S.
died April 26, 1931, Chicago

      American philosopher prominent in both social psychology and the development of Pragmatism.

      Mead studied at Oberlin College and Harvard University. During 1891–94 he was instructor in philosophy and psychology at the University of Michigan. In 1894 he went to the University of Chicago, where he remained until his death.

      To social psychology, Mead's main contribution was his attempt to show how the human self arises in the process of social interaction. He thought that spoken language played a central role in this development. Through language the child can take the role of other persons and guide his behaviour in terms of the effect his contemplated behaviour will have upon others. Thus Mead's psychological approach was behaviouristic.

      In philosophy, Mead was one of the major thinkers among the American Pragmatists. In common with a number of his contemporaries, he was much-influenced by the theory of relativity and the doctrine of emergence. His philosophy might be called objective Relativism. Just as some objects are edible, but only in relation to a digestive system, so Mead thought of experience, life, consciousness, personality, and value as objective properties of nature which emerge only under (and hence are relative to) specific sets of conditions. John Dewey acknowledged his own great indebtedness to Mead's philosophy.

      Mead never published his work. After his death his students edited four volumes from stenographic recordings and notes on his lectures and from unpublished papers: The Philosophy of the Present (1932); Mind, Self, and Society (1934); Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1936); and The Philosophy of the Act (1938).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mead,George Herbert — Mead (mēd), George Herbert. 1863 1931. American philosopher and social theorist and reformer. He was a leader of the American pragmatists and contributed greatly to the development of social psychology. * * * …   Universalium

  • Mead, George Herbert — (1863 1931) A leading American pragmatist, philosopher of the Chicago School, and one of the founders of the sociological tradition that came to be known as symbolic interactionism after his death. His thought is often classified as social… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Mead, George Herbert — (27 feb. 1863, South Hadley, Mass., EE.UU.–26 abr. 1931, Chicago, Ill). Filósofo, sociólogo y psicólogo social estadounidense, destacado en el desarrollo del pragmatismo. Estudió en el Oberlin College, se graduó en la Universidad de Harvard (B.A …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • George Herbert Mead — (* 27. Februar 1863 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA; † 26. April 1931 in Chicago, USA) war ein US amerikanischer Philosoph und Psychologe. Er studierte unter anderem in Leipzig und Berlin und war von 1894 bis zu seinem Tode Professor für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Herbert Mead — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mead. George Herbert Mead George Herbert Mead, né le 27 février 1863 et mort le 13 avr …   Wikipédia en Français

  • George Herbert (disambiguation) — George Herbert is the name of:* George Herbert (1593 1633), an English poet * George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (1866 1923), an English Egyptologist * George Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke (1759 1827), an English peer * George Herbert, 13th… …   Wikipedia

  • George Herbert Mead — Biography Mead was born February 27, 1863 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He studied at Oberlin College from 1879–1883 and spent several years as a railroad surveyor prior to his enrollment in Harvard University in 1887. At Harvard, Mead studied… …   Wikipedia

  • George Herbert Mead — noun United States philosopher of pragmatism (1863 1931) • Syn: ↑Mead • Instance Hypernyms: ↑philosopher …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mead — Mead, George Herbert …   Dictionary of sociology

  • MEAD (G. H.) — MEAD GEORGE HERBERT (1863 1931) Fortement marqué par les théories évolutionnistes, le philosophe américain George Herbert Mead a exercé une influence considérable sur le développement des sciences sociales. Pragmatiste, ami intime de John Dewey,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.