Biography (World Philosophers and Their Works)
Article abstract: Trained in philosophy, Mead earned wide acclaim as a social scientist, playing a major role in establishing sociology and social psychology as disciplines. Drawing on pragmatism and behaviorism, he formulated social behaviorism, a pragmatic philosophy that offered a radical view of mind and self as developing out of society, via the acquisition and the use of language, rather than the other way around.
George Herbert Mead grew up in Oberlin, Ohio, the son of Hiram Mead and Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead, devout Congregationalists and prominent educators. His father was a professor (1869-1881) of sacred rhetoric and pastoral theology at the theological seminary at Oberlin College, the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the nation. His mother served from 1870 to 1883 on the Women’s Board of Managers and taught English at the college from 1881 to 1883. She distinguished herself as associate principal and as the innovative president (1890-1900) of Abbott Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; the school, later renamed Mount Holyoke College, is the oldest continuing women’s liberals arts college in the United States.
George, a quiet, bookish boy, attended Oberlin College during the period 1879-1883, graduating with a...
(The entire section is 2919 words.)
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