The focus of this episode is George Herbert Mead who has had a tremendous impact on sociology, psychology and philosophy.
See the end of this post for links to the episode.
I talk to Darren Nixon about Mead’s most famous contribution; his conceptualisation of the self as as being comprised of two parts, “I” and the “Me”. Mead’s great insight is that our “self” is not part of a transcendent “spirit” or biologically predisposed but is a “social self” that is produced through our interactions with others. As well as his most famous insight we also discuss his contribution to broader social and political thought in particular his analysis of the relationship between our acceptance of our knowledge of the world and what is useful to us. Darren and I consider what his insights might mean for some contemporary issues including social media use and the increasing acceptance of populist ideology.
Mead’s work is mostly not available open access but this introduction from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is good.
There is also a chapter by him in a collection on pragmatist philosophy available on Project Gutenberg .
It is usually possible to pick up his books quite cheaply second hand such as his Mind, Self & Society.
If you have access to a good library I highly recommend Ian Burkitt’s books Social Selves which has some excellent sections on Mead’s work.
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