Neurosociology pp 157-169 | Cite as

Consciousness, Quale, and Subjective Experience



From its origins in the philosophical structure of Chicago social behaviorism, symbolic interaction has retained a focus on consciousness and minded behavior. This is especially true when it focuses on lived experience. Concerted interest in the validity of studying the subjective aspects of life was given formal recognition in 1990 when Carolyn Ellis and Michael Flaherty organized a symbolic interaction symposium on the subject. This effort encouraged more scholars to be open to the study of consciousness and subjectivity. One participant in the 1990 symposium was William Wentworth (2002:15) who, like Mead, considers consciousness to be a result of the individual’s participation in social communication body, brain, and social interaction. For Mead, consciousness was an emergent from social behavior; it was not a precondition for such an act; the act was a precondition for it (Mead 1934:18).


Subjective Experience Direct Experience Hard Problem Subjective Aspect Binding Problem 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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