G.H. Mead's Understanding of the Nature of Speech in the Light of Contemporary Research

The following analysis demonstrates that G.H. Mead's understanding of human speech is remarkably consistent with today's interdisciplinary field that studies speech as a natural behavior with an evolutionary history. Mead seems to have captured major empirical and theoretical insights more than half a century before the contemporary field began to take shape. In that field the framework known as “Tinbergen's Four Questions,” developed in ecology to study naturally occurring behavior in nonhuman animals, has been an effective organizing framework for research on human speech. It is used in this paper to organize the comparison of Mead with contemporary scholars. The analysis concludes that Mead was, in a sense, “beyond” the Four Questions by recognizing the limitations of reductionist methods in understanding the nature of conscious phenomena, especially language. Mead's socially situated model of the nature of human speech makes him relevant to today's field where some see an undervaluation of the treatment of language as a social process
Keywords Mead  human speech  Tinbergen  vocal gesture  language
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2011.00476.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Mitchell Aboulafia (2008). George Herbert Mead. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Marilyn Fischer (2008). Mead and the International Mind. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (3):pp. 508-531.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

8 ( #468,042 of 1,925,564 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,223 of 1,925,564 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.