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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter 1967)

Mind, Self and Society, The Philosophy of the Act, and The Philosophy of the Present, posthumously published volumes of G. H. Mead, reflect in their titles three root conceptions of Mead’s mature philosophy, viz., sociality, the act, and the act as an event emerging in the present. These in turn reflect respectively the influence of Mead’s reading in social psychology, biology, and relativity physics. Past efforts at synthesizing these different dimensions of Mead’s thought have adopted varying principles of order or interpretation.

[reprinted in 51:2 50th Anniversary Issue Pt. 2]

Sociolinguistics identifies an area of research, one whose problems can be studied by members of a variety of disciplines. Nevertheless, the term sociolinguistics does pose the special question of the relation between linguistics and sociology. It is to this question that this paper is addressed.

Sociology is the study of society in interaction. In this process human beings “take each other into account” and react in a more or less appropriate fashion to the behavior of others and themselves as well. The product of social interaction is culture, which emerges from past interaction and guides present and future interaction. Culture influences the personality of those who are reared in society; personality in thus, in a manner of speaking, “the subjective aspect of culture.” Literature is a cultural product that reflects past interaction as interpreted by the author and influences subsequent interaction on the part of the reader.

It is a commonplace that historians have not generally accepted the definition of the term, “imperialism.” In recent years each user of the term has defined it as he has pleased or has not defined it at all or has even in some cases, used it in a variety of ways in the same work. The result has been a sort of semantic chaos. “Imperialism,” says W.K. Hancock in an often echoed sentiment, “is no word for scholars.”

During the late 1950s and reaching some sort of peak in the early 1960s, a very substantial number of the newly emergent African nations became one-party states, states in which, effectively only one “mass” political party had full legal existence and in which party membership was practically the sine qua non of political power. To some Western observers this development, like the emergence of military dictatorships in other countries, represented a breakdown in the modernization process: the destruction of nascent parliamentary institutions based on competition among a variety of political organizations, and the substitutions for these of a barely disguised authoritarian political system.

Nongovernmental elites play a vital role in the American public opinion and foreign policy making process by mediating between the government and the mass public and by debating issues in advance of governmental decisions. In addition to interest groups and the mass media, these elites include individuals on the community or national level who are often objects of deference and sources of authority on one or several issues; other elites and the attentive public look to them for information, interpretation, and guidance on controversial matters.

In Italy, recently, two volumes have come out which further develop the already much debated subject of Marx’s dialectic. The works referred to are Chiave della dialettica storica by Galvano Della Volpe and Le dialettica in Marx by Mario Del Pra.

In 1968 the first of five volumes of the Lexicon named above will be published as part of a comprehensive enterprise in conceptual history (Bergriffsgeschichte). The other volumes will probably follow in 1969-1972. About 130 articles, some of considerable length are envisaged. This means that the project does not involve a large number of brief informational or definitional articles, but rather a limited number of investigations of the historical development of certain key concepts.

Review of book by Erich Kahler.New York: George Braziller, 1964. 224 pp.

Review of book by Andrew Shonfield. Issued under the Auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1965. 456 pp.

Review of book by Hedwig Wachenheim. Koln und Opaladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1967. 678 pp.

Review of book by Gian Paolo Prandstraller. Milan: Edizioni Di Communita, 1966. 247 pp.

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