CMNS 110 Lecture – Week VI
- Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated
motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment,
and action, organized into a distinctive whole.
George Herbert Mead
- Proposed an evolutionary development of the self.
- “The self is something which has a development; it is not initially there at birth, but arises in
the process of social experience and activity…”
- Babies’ babbling = “vocal gestures”
o NOT a form of language.
o Conversation of gestures.
- The conversation of gestures only becomes language when these gestures become
o A gesture is called significant once the individual can interpret the meaning of his or
her own gestures.
o Being able to “call out” or bring forward the response that your gesture calls out or
elicits in others.
- One becomes a human being insofar as one can become an object to oneself.
o Occurs through language.
- Mind and self arise within the concept of social experience.
- To be an organism in possession of mind, one must possess language.
- Thought is rooted in language, and therefore involves a continual and internal process of
- Thought is an internal dialogue with the generalized other.
o We start to generalize “what society at large would think” rather than thinking of
what one specific person would think (Ex: mom, dad,