Tag Archives: self

George Herbert Mead | Me and I

I’ve done a little more digging into George H. Mead. His work definitely connects with my MeWe principle. Two websites here and here have summarized his work. I haven’t yet delved into his work directly, although I have located it.

Mead, George Herbert, and Charles W. Morris. Mind, Self & Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist. Chicago, Ill.,: The University of Chicago press, 1934.

“We are,” Mead writes, “individuals born into a certain nationality, located at a certain spot geographically, with such and such family relations, and such and such political relations. All of these represent a certain situation which constitutes the ‘me’; but this necessarily involves a continued action of the organism toward the ‘me.’ Men are born into social structures they did not create, they live in an institutional and social order they never made, and they are constrained by the limitations of languages, codes, customs. and laws. All of these enter into the “me” as constituent elements, yet the “I” always reacts to preformed situations in a unique manner, “just as every monad in the Leibnizian universe mirrors that universe from a different point of view, and thus mirrors a different aspect or perspective of that universe.” To Mead, mind is “the individual importation of the social process,” but, at the same time, “the individual . . . is continually reacting back against . . . society.” The self as a whole, as it appears in social experience, is a compound of the stabilized reflections of the generalized other in the “me” and the incalculable spontaneity of the “I.” This is why the self as a whole is an open self. “If it did not have these two phases there could not be conscious responsibility, and there would be nothing novel in experience.” Mead valued personal autonomy, but he saw it emerging from feedback rather than from attempts at insulation from others. Human actors are inevitably enmeshed in a social world, but the mature self transforms this world even as it responds to it. read more

Pannenberg’s Article on Personhood translated by Fred Sanders

Personhood and the notion of self is an important topic in my research, both in regard to the Trinity and to spiritual formation. During my search for resources on the self and personhood I discovered this article from Pannenberg, but also discovered that it has never been officially translated into English. I passed my German exam, but do not have the skills to translate it, thus rendering this article a black box to me. (perhaps I should try to translate it, but I never did). Imagine my delight when I came across Sanders’ blog and was able to read this in English. It was like witnessing a beautiful blossom unfold before my eyes. Thank you! read more

Putting Willard on the Raft | A Reflection on Gary Black’s book The Theology of Dallas Willard

ProtoevangelicalBlack, Gary. The Theology of Dallas Willard: Discovering Protoevangelical Faith. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013.

gblackThe Author – Dr. Gary Black, Jr.

This essay is both a reflection on Gary Black’s book The Theology of Dallas Willard, and a huge note of gratitude to Gary for shedding light on a much needed subject. This book has not only helped me make sense out of my own spiritual journey, but it has greatly enhanced my dissertation work in the area of missional spirituality in the suburbs.

(The following is a personal narrative of how I interacted with Black’s book. Click here to view my annotated highlights from the book.) read more