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George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) was a philosopher who had been influenced initially by positivistic psychology but eventually developed a unique perspective that combined the pragmatism of John Dewey, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Josiah Royce into a social psychology with elements of the biological and evolutionary sciences. Some pertinent details of Mead's life are worth reviewing as a backdrop to understanding what led him to develop this novel position.

Mead, born in 1863 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, had been exposed to both religion and higher education throughout his formative years. His father, Hiram, was chair in Sacred Rhetoric and Pastoral Theology at Oberlin College beginning in 1869. Mead's mother also taught at Oberlin, and she was devoted to ensuring that young George was guided through a ...

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