The Self

Length: 3 Pages 630 Words

Analysis of Mead's Perspective on "The Self" Like mind, according to George Herbert Mead, ‘The self', is a social emergent. He argued that this social concept of the self involves individual selves who are the products of social communication and not the preconditions i-e- logical or biological of that communication. He further compared his social theory of the self with individualistic theories of the self, which means, the theories that assume the preference of selves to social development. According to Mead: "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, that is, develops in the given individual as a result of his relations to that process as a whole and to other individuals within that process" (Mind, Self and Society). As further indicated by Mead the model of society Continue...


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is an organic model wherein individuals are linked to the social process just the same way as parts of body are related to bodies. Moreover, this reflexivity of the self differentiates human consciousness from animal is pointed out by Mead as two uses of this term "consciousness": the first use of consciousness may signify "a certain feeling consciousness" as an outcome of an organism's understanding to its environment, while the second use of the term consciousness denote to a kind of awareness that always has completeness (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001). At the same time there is a kind of pre-reflective consciousness, which refers to the "bare thereness of the world," and is reflective (or self-) consciousness that describe human consciousness. While, the pre-reflective world is a world in which the self is missing (Mead, 1988). Therefore, the self as an object occurs out of the individual's experience of other selves, which is outside of himselfherself. Conclusion To analyze the view point of Mead, it is understandable that the self as an object is not an object in a mechanistic, billiard ball world of outside relations, but instead it is a fundamental construction of human knowledge that take place in respond to other people which is in an organic social-symbolic world of internal relations, which is much evident in Mead's explanation of playing and gaming (Blunden, 1913). " But for Mead, it is the reflexivity of the self, which, differentiate it from other objects and the body and which both are not objects to themselves as the self is (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001). However, self is considered to be a reflective process, meaning, "it is an object to itself. Thus, the individual, according to Mead, "Can enter as an object to himself only on the basis of social relations and interactions, only by means of his experiential transactions with other individuals in an organized social environment" (Mead, 1988). Hence, self-consciousness is the outcome of a process wherein the individual takes others attitudes toward himselfherself, and attempts to perceive himselfherself from the viewpoint of others. Thus, the second use of the term "consciousness" is much appropriate to the explanation of human consciousness. This objectified self is a development that is within the social organization and processes of individual inter- subjectivity (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

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