By Sandra B. Rosenthal
This publication unites George Herbert Mead and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in a shared rejection of substance philosophy in addition to spectator concept of data, in want of a spotlight at the ultimacy of temporal approach and the constitutive functionality of social praxis. either Mead and Merleau-Ponty go back to the richness of lived adventure inside of nature, and either bring about appreciably new, insightful visions of the character of selfhood, language, freedom, and time itself, in addition to of the character of the relation among the so-called "tensions" of visual appeal and fact, sensation and item, the person and the group, freedom and constraint, and continuity and creativity.
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Extra resources for Mead and Merleau-Ponty: Toward a Common Vision
The understanding of the inanimate in terms of scientific matter, as well as the reduction of biological activity to the activity of matter, does not reach something more real than, or corrective of, our everyday experience, but rather grasps abstract orderings dependent throughout on a scientific enterprise rooted in the everyday world. A comprehensive, adequate understanding of behavior from ''without" ultimately must accommodate an interpretive description or a phenomenological examination of the experiential features of behavior and perception as these reveal themselves in the world of everyday experience.
Mead's understanding of the emergence of the field of objects in terms of the stages of the act will be seen to further deepen the implicit but pervasive phenomenological dimension to his pragmatism, while Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological account of the perceptual field in terms of the primacy of perception will be seen implicitly to contain elements of Mead's pragmatic understanding of the stages of the act. Thus each philosopher implicitly incorporates features of the other's position in a way that complements and enriches the understanding of both.
For perception of resisting objects and one's organism arise together from an undifferentiated field, and, as in- Page 20 dicated above, social objects are also resisting objects. As Mead states, social individuals or selves exist in their "efforts and tensions in social conduct. .. " 66 And, though it will be seen that awareness of meanings emerges only through the beginnings of communicative action, such action, involving as it does the resistance and efforts of organisms, is permeated with the instrumental activity that gives rise to the insides of objects as centers of resistance.