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The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead$
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Hans Joas and Daniel R. Huebner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376943

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377131.001.0001

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Naturalism and Despair: George Herbert Mead and Evolution in the 1880s

Naturalism and Despair: George Herbert Mead and Evolution in the 1880s

(p.117) Chapter Six Naturalism and Despair: George Herbert Mead and Evolution in the 1880s
The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead

Trevor Pearce

University of Chicago Press

Trevor Pearce examines Mead’s early intellectual development and shows in detail how difficult it was for a young Christian at the time to integrate Darwin into his worldview. Pearce explores the deep existential crisis that resulted from these difficulties. Based on new and newly reevaluated biographical material, Pearce traces the development of Mead’s views through his years in college, in a longer phase of existential reorientation, and as a student of philosophy and psychology. Pearce also shows how Mead’s education with Josiah Royce at Harvard and Wilhelm Dilthey in Berlin—both authors who saw the doctrine of evolution as a means to come to a better understanding of the human being’s “spiritual” nature—was key to resolving his early intellectual and personal problems and continued to form the center of his later work.

Keywords:   George Herbert Mead, Charles Darwin, evolution, naturalism, Josiah Royce, Wilhelm Dilthey, personal crisis

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