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Since I am getting into anniversaries of pragmatists from the 1st and 2nd generations, today is the 149th birthday of George Herbert Mead (1863 – 1931). Being one of the prominent scholars of Dewey’s “Chicago School,”  he was regarded in his lifetime on a par with Harvard professor William James (see post on James’s 170th anniversary). He is considered (co-)founder of social psychology and sociology.

The ecosonic aspect of Mead’s philosophy is that he saw everything socially, e.g. even theorizing the sociality of electrons (!!!). [Not unlike Peirce’s seeing regularities in nature (a.k.a., physical laws) as “habits,” such as a stream wearing a riverbed.] At a time of vigorous social (not so much “reform” as literal) invention, which is what post-Civil War America was, he envisioned a society of (oversimplifying) everyone accommodating everyone else.

Quoting from George Cronk’s article in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “[d]uring his more-than-40-year career, Mead thought deeply, wrote almost constantly, and published numerous articles and book reviews in philosophy and psychology. However, he never published a book. After his death, several of his students edited four volumes from stenographic records of his social psychology course at the University of Chicago, from Mead’s lecture notes, and from Mead’s numerous unpublished papers. The four books are The Philosophy of the Present (1932), edited by Arthur E. Murphy; Mind, Self, and Society (1934), edited by Charles W. Morris; Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1936), edited by Merritt H. Moore; and The Philosophy of the Act (1938), Mead’s Carus Lectures of 1930, edited by Charles W. Morris.” More…

A curious bibliographic fact I came up with today:
A search on yielded a book of his, George Herbert Mead: Critical Assessments (ed. Peter Hamilton, Routledge 1993), @ 1,600 pages, which costs between just under $1,000 and over $2, 000 CAD, for used or new copies.


    YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Nov 29, 2010

TOTALLY VISCERAL, like all of them, hmmmm…

YouTube credit: Uploaded by  on Nov 23, 2009

The next few, mixed with more-Western sounding vocals, Bulgaria

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Jan 25, 2007

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Mar 9, 2011

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Feb 11, 2010

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Aug 19, 2010

It may be close-to-hypnotizingly enjoyable, or… not. Definitely an acquired taste. However, I find the technique totally fascinating. Totally in line with my tweet-size Ecosonance tune-up.

The first one with comments by the performers. Very soothing narration.

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Jul 15, 2011

More in the same vein, well, to my ear and mind:

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Feb 15, 2008

富饶辽阔的阿拉善(蒙古长调) - 莫尔根

YouTube credit: Uploaded by on Feb 16, 2009

Let us revisit the Springer image below–I have an admission to make, and ideas to share.

At first I had mistaken the graph as representing Sign, Sign User, and Addressee as stemming from Object. That would have been the fallacy of privileging the “objective” object as the entity determining the rest of the terms. Apologies to Springer/their author.

Taking another careful look, I discovered the currently anonymous crossing point, to which all four terms are linked, and it occurred to me that it would thus qualify as a representation of the Ecosonance relationship. All terms link to a single point, thereby becoming linked among them. Another plus for the Springer graph is that it also leans toward a communicative view of the sign, as I do.

The compromise with straight lines still grates, but–synchronistically,–ES philosophy has found a possible visual illustration in semiosis. I certainly recognize the validity of having communicating persons as terms of the sign, in lieu of the respective meanings they generate, which I label “Meaning Intended” (by the utterer/sign user) and “Meaning Interpreted” (by the interpreter/addressee). On the whole, the graph above seems to match Charles Morris’s reinterpretation of Perceian semiotics, to which Dewey strongly objects–specifically, to representing Morris’s interpretation as based on Peirce’s, which it is not. Not to forget, the fact that the only meaning term of the Peircean sign is the Interpretant (i.e., the meaning in the mind of the interpreter) has backing in Peirce’s logico-philosophical semiotics. More on that coming up.

update: March 31, 2012

Well, since no one has the time to really read into what is written, as closely as a literary critic might, I thought I’d serve something really compressed. A lot goes on in the tweetosphere, brevity is becoming the prevalent email and conference presentations ethics, there are already tweet-length novels being published… For a couple of years now I do not think I have come up with anything more essential and far-reaching, which hardly needs more words. What I find especially significant, it has always been “old knowledge” to the species, very obvious, too, even if we have somehow consistently failed to actually implement it.

working on it 🙂  … the (rationale for the tweet-size) doctoral thesis, that is.

considered calling this post “An Apology for…,” but decided to keep the title the same as the official version, to avoid any mistaken readings of a defensive stance on a point that dos not need “defending,” just exposition and appreciation.

I cannot believe, what a good conversation I am having with WP! Consider the comment on this post:

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. — Truman Capote


February 2012
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