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Language and Mind in the Thought of G. H. Mead: Challenges from Chomsky's Linguistics

Blue Ribbon Papers: Interactionism: The Emerging Landscape

ISBN: 978-0-85724-795-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-796-4

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 9 May 2011

Abstract

G. H. Mead's social, developmental, and emergent conception of language and mind is a foundational assumption that is central to the interactionist tradition. However, the validity of this model has been challenged in recent years by theorists such as Albert Bergesen, who argues that recent advances in linguistics and cognitive psychology demonstrate that Mead's social theory of language learning and his theory of the social nature of mind are untenable. In light of these critiques, and drawing on Chomsky's debates with intellectuals such as Jean Piaget, John Searle, and Michael Tomasello, this chapter compares Chomsky's and Mead's theories of language and mind in terms of their assumptions about innateness and the nature and source of meaning. This comparison aims to address the major strengths and weaknesses in both models and shed light on how interactionists might frame these conceptual challenges in future theoretical and empirical research.

Citation

Puddephatt, A.J. (2011), "Language and Mind in the Thought of G. H. Mead: Challenges from Chomsky's Linguistics", Denzin, N.K., Athens, L. and Faust, T. (Ed.) Blue Ribbon Papers: Interactionism: The Emerging Landscape (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 36), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-2396(2011)0000036006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited