The Evolution of the Psychical Element: George Herbert Mead At the University of Chicago: Lecture notes by H. Heath Bawden 1899–1900: Introduction


George Herbert Mead's early lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding the genesis of his views in social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's lecture series "The Evolution of the Psychical Element," preserved through the notes of student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductionistic approach to functional psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge as well as his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization.