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Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Learn more Check out. Abstract This analysis assesses the factors underlying Charles Horton Cooley's place in the sociological canon as they relate to George Herbert Mead's puzzling diatribe—echoed in secondary accounts—against Cooley's social psychology and view of the self published scarcely a year after his death.
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New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. In this attitude, data do not implicate persistent structure. They appear first of all as exceptions -- the phenomena of the heavens which Greek astronomy from the time of Pythagoras on sought to "save" -- but when the saving theory has rescued them, they are no longer exceptions, they have become instances. In a sense we can identify, "sprinkled along the waste of years," the observations of the Mesopotamian Magi, of Hipparchus, of Ptolemy, of Tycho Brahe, and of our own astronomical tables; but, when so isolated, they have no being in any system independent of those within which they have appeared.
They are building stones which had their places in many "transitory structures high," but "it nought avails their architects now to have built high in heaven towers" for they have no final place in any abiding edifice. The datum must seek its meaning either in its opposition to the doctrine which it invalidates, or in that which the genius of the scientist constructs to give it again a local habitation and a name, or in the theory of the historic process by which it has passed through many "fabrics huge" which have risen like exhalations and vanished like the cloud-capped towers of skyey landscapes, but there is no ultimate structure in which their final meaning reposes.
Nor does the scientist, when he is not crowning his life-work with Gifford lectures, endow his data with the logical form of such final meanings. They are pertinent solely to the experiences within which they arise. Still less can the data be identified with the building material of the world within which the problem appears. The evidence for this is found in the presupposition of this world as the conditions for the appearance of the data.
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Whether the datum appears as an exception or as an experimental finding in support of an hypothesis, its existence involves things that cannot by definition be stated in terms of the given world. This speaks out of the very nature of the exception, and it is heard equally clearly in the nature of a conclusive experiment. The experimental finding must take place under conditions which rigorously ex-. You must be able to prove that your guinea pig has the disease, which appears after inoculation with the hypothetical germ, by means of clinical evidence other than presence of the germ.
George Herbert Mead: A Pragmatic Theory of Truth
You cannot by the same findings prove a that the guinea pig contracted the disease through the germ and b that the disease which the guinea pig contracted is the disease in question. Now it is of course true that we continue to talk about the disease in terms of the germ that was identified in the experiment, but it has become a very different affair. Then it was something foreign to the life-process of the guinea pig; now it has become a parasite that has a natural habitat within that process. You describe the life-process of host and parasite in a single biochemical formula.
The truth that your experiment establishes is that the world -- an ongoing intelligible concern -- within which a problem has arisen, continues to exhibit itself as the same ongoing intelligible concern under conditions which alone can be stated in terms of the hypothesis you have presented. The new predicate with which you are qualifying this, subject cannot already be implied in the subject. The copula which triumphantly collects them is the experiment, so constructed as rigorously to exclude the new character from the subject that was there and at the same time to jockey the world into such a situation that it inevitably exhibits this character.
But how can it inevitably exhibit this character unless there was already present in the subject that which implies the predicate? That is, how can we make a universal proposition out of the mere juxtaposition of two experiences -- unless there is in advance in the subject, as it appears in the judgment, the connection which the copula has merely exhibited? The answer is found in the form of the problem that appears in the subject of the judgment.
Back of any such experiment as that to which I referred above, lies the breakdown of medical description and treatment of the disease. Instances appear which negative this description and practice. One cannot describe and treat the. The solution of the difficulty is found, if it is found, in it reconstruction of the picture that enables the conflicting tendencies to find expression -- that is, which enables the inhibited action to go on.
There is a meaning in the old accounts and methods and there is it meaning in the new experiences which invalidate them. Truth is found in such a formulation of meaning that the conduct which these meanings have implied may be made possible. We never simply throw away values which have been there. They are allotted to their proper spheres, within which they give rise to appropriate responses. The subject of the judgment, as distinct from that of the final proposition, is the situation within which this conflict lies, and the final predicate which the experiment justifies, is the reconstructed picture which gives to the conflicting values their own functions.
We are not in the judgment simply associating two experiences with each other. We are making possible the experience which the conflicting elements in the subject situation call for. The reconstructed picture of the disease gives to the former conflicting characters of the subject an organization which admits of intelligent response. The subject so characterized is then in so far true, but the organization of meanings was not in the former subject.
In so far as the reorganization is carried out consistently with these meanings, the result necessarily follows, but the reason for the connection between the reconstructed picture and the appropriate consequences was not present in the former subject. But it was in nature, was it not? It was not in that phase of nature which appeared in the experience of the men who recognized the problem and solved it. The judgment is a natural process taking place in the experience of human organisms and its truth is a natural condition that attends upon the success of these organisms in solving their problem.
The word, success, I do not entirely like, because of the implications which. It is associated with satisfactions and the agreeable experiences which attend upon satisfactions. The test of truth which I have presented is the ongoing of conduct, which has been stopped by a conflict of meanings -- and in meanings I refer to responses or conduct which the characters of lead up to. The truth is not the achievement of the solution, still less the gratification of him who has achieved it.
George Herbert Mead. The experience of integrative research. Complex Index
There is something of the old hedonistic fallacy in this. Pleasure undoubtedly attends upon the object of one's desire, but one does not therefore desire the pleasure. One is generally gratified by the solution of one's problem, but the test is the ability to act where action was formerly estopped. The action may be a very sorry affair and afflicted with gloom, but if the road now lies open to the meanings which had nullified each other, this road is the true road.
I hope I have made evident that in this doctrine the data are not in the world out of which the problem has arisen, but belong to the statement of the problem; and that in the solution of the problem, they pass, in new forms into the reconstructed meanings which experiment shows to fit into the world, in so far as it was not involved in this problem.
Truth is then synonymous with the solution of the problem. But judgment must be either true or false, for the problem is either solved or is not solved. In this sense a judgment becomes a proposition. The proposition is a presentation in symbolic form of the copula stage of the judgment. In the subject stage lies the conflict between different responses. You call up James Brown by telephone at his office, and are informed that Mr.
Related George Herbert Mead. The experience of integrative research. Complex Index
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