Arthur O. Lovejoy famously referred to thirteen pragmatisms. If he were called on to enumerate postmodernisms, no doubt he would increase this number tenfold.1 Fortunately I need not follow his lead for the task at hand, namely, to discuss whether the pragmatic tradition can narrow the divide between modernism and postmodernism on the topic of cosmopolitanism. To do so I will focus on specific sets of ideas that have been associated with these terms. So, for example, modernists have been viewed (...) as defenders of some form of universality, ethical or conceptual, and of a responsible, self-actuating, authentic subject. Postmodernists look toward particularity and alterity, and stress that notions of a unitary subject .. (shrink)
Traditionally pragmatists have been favorably disposed to improving our understanding of agency and ethics through the use of empirical research. In the last two decades simulation theory has been championed in certain cognitive science circles as a way of explaining how we attribute mental states and predict human behavior. Drawing on research in psychology and neuroscience, Alvin I. Goldman and Robert M. Gordon have not only used simulation theory to discuss how we “mindread”, but have suggested that the theory has (...) implications for ethics. The limitations of simulation theory for “mindreading” and ethics are addressed in this article from an interactionist or neo-Meadian pragmatic perspective. To demonstrate the limitations of simulation theory scenes from the television show Mad Men are used as “thought-experiments”. (shrink)
Don't fence me in : Rorty and Sartre -- On freedom and action : Dewey and Sartre -- A (neo) American in Paris : Bourdieu and Mead -- Mead on cosmopolitanism, sympathy, and war -- W.E.B. Du Bois : double-consciousness, Jamesian sympathy, and the cosmopolitan -- Self-concept in the new sociology of ideas : reflections on Neil Gross's Richard Rorty : the making of an American philosopher -- Eros and self-determination -- What if Hegel's master and slave were women?
George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), American philosopher and social theorist, is often classed with William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey as one of the most significant figures in classical American pragmatism. Dewey referred to Mead as “a seminal mind of the very first order” (Dewey, 1932, xl). Yet by the middle of the twentieth-century, Mead's prestige was greatest outside of professional philosophical circles. He is considered by many to be the father of the school of Symbolic Interactionism in sociology (...) and social psychology, although he did not use this nomenclature. Perhaps Mead's principal influence in philosophical circles occurred as a result of his friendship with John Dewey. There is little question that Mead and Dewey had an enduring influence on each other, with Mead contributing an original theory of the development of the self through communication. This theory has in recent years played a central role in the work of Jürgen Habermas. While Mead is best known for his work on the nature of the self and intersubjectivity, he also developed a theory of action, and a metaphysics that emphasizes emergence and temporality, in which the past and future are viewed through the lens of the present. Although the extent of Mead's reach is considerable, he never published a monograph. His most famous work, Mind, Self, and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist, was published after his death and is a compilation of student notes and selections from unpublished manuscripts. (shrink)
Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important thinkers of this century. His work has been highly influential not only in philosophy, but particularly in the fields of politics, sociology and law. This is the first collection that explores the connections between his body of work and North America's biggest philosophical movement, pragmatism. Habermas and Pragmatism investigates the influences of pragmatism on Habermas' thought in a collection of stellar essays with contributions by Habermas himself, leading representatives of pragmatism, as well (...) as critical and legal theorists. The essays cover a range of subjects including philosophy of language, democracy, nature of rationality and social theory as well as the relation of major figures such as Hegel, Pierce, Mead and Dewey to Habermas and pragmatism. (shrink)
George Herbert Mead was a dedicated progressive and internationalist who strove to realize his political convictions through participation in numerous civic organizations in Chicago. These convictions informed and were informed by his approach to philosophy. This article addresses the bonds between Mead's philosophy, social psychology, and his support of women's rights through an analysis of a letter he wrote to his daughter-in-law regarding her plans for a career.
Sartre seeks both to overcome solipsism and clarify how the individual becomes an object—with a seemingly fixed char acter—through his account of The Look in Being and Nothingness. While his description of how The Look of the other transforms one into an object may at first appear to be confirmed by experience, the account proves to be inade quate as a refutation of solipsism and in showing exactly how one becomes an object. On the other hand, G.H. Mead has a (...) convincing approach to how the self comes into being as an object. In the first section of this paper I present and criticize Sartre's position, especially his explanation for how one can experience The Look when the other is not empirically present. The second section investigates Mead's approach to the genesis of the self as social object, and then shows how Mead's ideas can be employed to clarify inconsistencies in Sartre's account, highlighting why Sartre's description ap pears to be confirmed by experience. (shrink)