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The Deconstruction and Construction of Mind

Author: ZhaoJunFeng
Tutor: JiZhiChuang
School: Henan University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: Mead philosophy of mind social context pragmatism
CLC: B712.59
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 1
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“Linguistic turn” is a prominent feature of western philosophy in the20th century, thus the questionof significance and reference would become discussed in top priority among the analytical philosophers.With the in-depth research on this issue, analytical philosophers have come to realize that studyinglanguage itself can not solve these problems. We must take the users of language and its specificenvironment into account, hence we will inevitably need to make a new interpretation to the mind ofhuman being. Philosophy of mind just arises under such a historical opportunity, acting in the forefront ofphilosophical field and leading its trend. In the1990’s, philosophy of mind, which is seen as the firstphilosophy, is firmly established in the camp of analytical philosophy. As early as the Greek philosophy,philosophy of mind has shown her shadowy figure; while in the modern sense philosophy of mind is sinceDescartes’, Philosophers spread out its topic around the study of mind. Up to now, philosophy of mind hasan intersection with many subject areas, such as experimental psychology, computer science, neuroscience,artificial intelligence, etc. It has a solid core and vague boundary, it is changing the traditional concept ofpsychological image. Therefor, philosophy of mind is a very promising area of research. Some far-reachinginfluential theories of behaviourism, physicalism, functionalism, and materialism will continuously pushthe philosophy forward, providing a steady stream of power on the developmental way of philosophy.George Herbert Mead (1863---1931), who as one of the pioneers of American pragmatism and basedon the framework of pragmatic context, from the social aspects to explore how mind or self come out,highlighting his deconstruction of traditional spiritual entity and how to construct the different spiritualentity. That is to say, in the process of society how the social interaction happen to the mind and self. Thiskind of research is different from purely relying on the way of introspection and just intuitively describingpeople’s external behavior, but that combining with the social context to study human’s activities. Thispaper is divided into three parts, including a introduction, three chapters and a conclusion. The first part isintroduction, mainly a brief presentation to Mead and a rough analysis of his idea. At the same time, I makea brief explanation about the present situation of domestic and foreign research. The second part is the body,chapter one from "the pre-philosophy" state of mind---the soul as a start, analyzing several important philosophers’ discussion of body-mind problems in the history of western philosophy and giving aoverview of their point of view. Then combing the transition path from soul to soul, this for Mead’sconstruction of spiritual concepts laid a solid foundation. Chapter two from the theoretical basis of Mead’stwo major premise, analyzing Mead’s mind how to build during the social process in detail andemphasizing the important role of social context, and then highlighting the uniqueness of Mead’s mind.Chapter three is the view of the reality of combining for Mead’s mind and future prospects, outlining thecontemporary directions of philosophy of mind for Mead and the effect of his thoughts, continuouslyenlightening our posterity to explore the nature of the mind. The last part is the conclusion, this part makesa brief summary of the notions of mind and a tentative evaluation on the value and significance of his ideasfor Mead.Mead is a great man of thoughts, he stands on the giant’s shoulders and distinctively shows us a newnotion of mind in a unique perspective. In Mead, we can find a novel ideas about the social nature of mind.Under the complex current social situations we human beings need a harmonious and stable society to livetogether, thus the communication of mind between humankind becomes particularly important. Even to thisday, though he is far from us nearly a century, his ideas has been still sending out the light, for us it is worththinking over unceasingly.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > Inter-American philosophy > North American philosophy > American Philosophical > The philosophy of the twentieth century > Other
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