Re: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Wed Oct 31 2007 - 18:02:48 PDT

Ha, ha, ha!! That's really thrown the cat amongst the pigeons, Ed! (well,
if it was my cat, thrown a pigeon amongst the cats would be a more accurate
metaphor). My knowledge of Dilthey is so slight, slighter even than my
knowledge of Mead, that I am inclined to take your email as an excuse to
concentrate on Engstrom instead.
At 08:41 PM 31/10/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>This may or may not be of interest, but here is a piece of an interchange
>between two participants on another list about the connection between Mead
>and Dilthey:
>Ed Wall
>>Dear ,
>Perhaps you missed my earlier communication of September 30 with its
>footnote regarding the false association of Mead with Dilthey. Your
>comment below that "we know that Dewey understood Dilthey through his
>friend Mead (who studied under Dilthey in Berlin)..." repeats and
>expands this falsity. It is not even an apocryphal story but entirely
>traceable to one false, unsubstantiated statement, totally unsupported by
>a single shred of "evidence."
>George Herbert Mead was enrolled at Berlin for five semester from Summer
>1889 to Summer 1891. He took a lecture course in Ethics from Dilthey in
>his third semester in 1890 and another in the History of Philosophy in his
>fifth semester in 1891 (among four courses). This contrasts with six
>courses, including two seminars with Paulsen in his first, fourth and
>fifth semesters. He took three courses from Ebbinghaus in his first and
>second semesters including spending the entire second semester working in
>Ebbinghaus' laboratory in connection with his courses. I have a letter
>in which Mead speaks of going to Berlin to find work in Ebbinghaus'
>laboratory, apparently on James's advice. Mead's education in Berlin was
>largely in physiological psychology and he took work in anatomy and
>psychophysics. Further, his work with Paulsen was in good part devoted
>to the relations between psychology and anthropology. I have been at work
>on a biography of Mead for some time in addition to editing his writings.
>I both corresponded with the Director of the Humboldt University Archives
>and visited there examining Mead's records as well as the records of
>the Dekan (Dean) from 1888 through the end of the 1890s with the aid of
>the Director. I have copies of all of Mead's records at Berlin (as well
>as those of his friend and brother-in-law Henry N. Castle and James H.
>I repeat: there is absolutely no mention of Dilthey in anything Mead wrote
>or in any lecture notes. And I find no mention of Dilthey in Dewey
>either. On the other hand, descriptions of some of Mead's courses in the
>University of Chicago catalog which he wrote (and in lectures I have
>discovered) refer many times to Paulsen, particularly with regard to Kant
>and post-Kantians and his book Kant is referred to and quoted.
>Finally, you also wrote that "William James came to Germany and stayed
>with Dilthey for a while." What is your source for this claim? Apart
>from Axel Schlotzhauer's rambling and incoherent atempts to link James to
>Dilthey during James early visits in Germany I find no other claims of
>such an event or any direct or indirect connection of James with Dilthey.
>Among the hundreds of names of philosophers and psychologists mentioned by
>James in his _Psychology_, the Harvard critical edition of his collected
>_Essays in Psychology_, or any other book James published -- or in his
>correspondence -- I fail to find Dilthey's name mentioned once. Nor is he
>mentioned in the two volumes of Ralph Barton Perry's _The Thought and
>Character of William James_ which quotes extensively from James's
>correspondence with German psychologists and philosophers. And when
>James, writes about a rest trip to Berlin in 1880, he speaks of wanting
>to hear Helmholtz's lectures, observe Munk's vivisections in the
>veterinary school and of doing laboratory work with G.Stanley Hall, then
>in Germany. (Perry, Vol. II, p.22).
>Indeed, the only place the word "Dilthey" appears in a work presenting
>James's writing is on p.109 of Vol I, of _The Letters of William James_
>edited by his son Henry James, where a footnote to an unnamed "Herr
>Professor" says: "The Herr Professor was later identified as W. Dilthey."
>This refers to a printed letter of James to his sister Alice, dated in
>Berlin, Oct. 17, 1867. It gives an account of an evening at the home of
>Herman Grimm, son of the younger of the Grimm brothers of Fairy Tales
>fame, and a Profesor of the History of Art as well an essayist and
>novelist. James had written an account of a novel of Grimm's which he
>had described in an earlier letter in 1867 and sent to his sister with the
>idea of publishing it; and there is a footnote indicating that this
>"notice" of the novel was published in the _Nation_ in 1867. James had
>become friendly with the Grimms and he tells of arriving at their home
>for a dinner and "... in a moment the other guest arrived. Herr Professor
>------, whose name I could not catch, ..." The footnote identifying this
>Herr Professor as Dilthey follows the word "catch." James describes this
>man, not entirely in flattering terms physically, and says he "was
>overflowing with information with regard to everything knowable and
>unknowable... the first man I have ever met of a class, which must be
>common here, of men to whom learning has become as natural as breathing."
>>Thanks everyone. I knew I could count on xmca to come to the rescue.
>>That should keep me out of trouble for a little while I think!
>>At 11:21 AM 31/10/2007 -0700, you wrote:
>>> Engestrom discusses Mead at some length in "Learning by Expanding"
>>> which is available in the XMCA/MCA archives. I believe it's in the
>>> second chapter.
>>> Paul
>>>Mike Cole <> wrote:
>>> The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky has a good article by Anne Edwards on
>>>topic. Also work by Dottie Holland I believe and Valsiner among others.
>>>NOTE:; Mead got his phd with Dilthey, a fact I take to be highly relevant.
>>>See also philosophy of the present which is full of interesting overlapping
>>>Go to it Andy!!
>>>On 10/31/07, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>>> Please understand Michael that my knowledge of Mead is very thin; I only
>>>> know what have read in terms of a couple of hundred pages of his
>>>> writings,
>>>> a couple of biographical articles and of course I am familiar with the
>>>> Progressive Movement, Dewey, Peirce and everyone, of which he was a part.
>>>> But I get the impression that he worked out these ideas, as you say, in
>>>> dialogue especially with Dewey and in the midst of that milieu, but I
>>>> don't
>>>> imagine that there was a lot of laboratory work involved, controlled
>>>> experiments and observation, and so on, by Mead, during his own lifetime.
>>>> The Vygotsky school on the other and incorporates today many decades of
>>>> empirical and practical experimental work and observation by scores of
>>>> psychologists. Yes? How many research groups or psychological
>>>> practitioners
>>>> use Symbolic Interactionism specifically today, as their comprehensive
>>>> theoretical paradigm?
>>>> Andy
>>>> At 08:58 AM 31/10/2007 -0400, you wrote:
>>>> >Andy,
>>>> >
>>>> >Mead's work was not just one man - he was surrounded by an entire group
>>>> at
>>>> >the University of Chicago that had come together under the umbrella of
>>>> >this type of Pragmatic thought. John Dewey recruited him to the
>>>> >University of Chicago from the Univfersity of Michigan, and they were
>>>> best
>>>> >friends - both intellectually and socially. There was also a large, more
>>>> >application oriented group centered around Jane Addams and Hull House,
>>>> and
>>>> >the nascent labor movement. When Dewey went to Columbia, there was a
>>>> >great deal of cross-pollination between the group he started at Columbia
>>>> >and Mead who stayed at the University of Chicago and the remains of that
>>>> >group. Mead's ideas are not the ideas of one man but a brilliant
>>>> >philosophical movement that helped to create what we now call
>>>> psychology,
>>>> >and sociology, and qualitative methodology, and even to a certain extent
>>>> >much of modern anthropology (Boas was also a marginal member of this
>>>> whole
>>>> >group).
>>>> >
>>>> >I'm interested, why would you think the ideas are so much more
>>>> speculative
>>>> >than say CHAT?
>>>> >
>>>> >Michael
>>>> >
>>>> >________________________________
>>>> >
>>>> >From: on behalf of Andy Blunden
>>>> >Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 8:21 AM
>>>> >To:
>>>> >Subject: [xmca] George Herbert Mead. help please
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >I'm currently reading a collection of George Herbert Mead, which
>>>> confirms
>>> > >my view that his ideas on social psychology were very close to our own,
>>>> >though inevitably, as the work of just one man, relatively speculative.
>>>> >Can anyone recommend to me a critique of Mead by a CHAT person,
>>>> perhaps a
>>>> >message in the XCMA archive or a paper available in HTML or PDF? I know
>>>> >that you guys cover him in your courses at UCSD.
>>>> >
>>>> >Andy
>>>> >
>>>> > Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>>>> >mobile 0409 358 651
>>>> >
>>>> >_______________________________________________
>>>> >xmca mailing list
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >_______________________________________________
>>>> >xmca mailing list
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>>>> mobile 0409 358 651
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>> Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
>> mobile 0409 358 651
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  Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
mobile 0409 358 651

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Received on Wed Oct 31 18:07 PDT 2007

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