Children in school are still taught nonsense. They are told that a “noun” is the “name of a person, place, or thing,” that a “verb” is “an action word,” and so on. That is, they are taught at a tender age that the way to define something is by what it supposedly is in itself, not by its relation to other things.

Gregory Bateson

Born: May 9, 1904

Died: July 4, 1980 (Age 76)

Gregory Bateson was an English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semiotician, and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. In the 1940s, he helped extend systems theory and cybernetics to the social and behavioral sciences. He spent the last decade of his life developing a "meta-science" of epistemology to bring together the various early forms of systems theory developing in different fields of science. His writings include Steps to an Ecology of Mind and Mind and Nature.

Bateson's interest in systems theory and cybernetics forms a thread running through his work. He was one of the original members of the core group of the Macy conferences in Cybernetics, and the later set on Group Processes, where he represented the social and behavioral sciences. Bateson was interested in the relationship of these fields to epistemology. His association with the editor and author Stewart Brand helped to widen his influence. From the 1970s until his last years, a broader audience of university students and educated people working in many fields came to know his thought.

Available Documents: 3

Learning to Think in a New Way
Lecture
1975
8,236
01:34:00
56
Delivered at the second Lindisfarne Association conference, Bateson challenged the relationship between “consciousness” and “evolution” and suggested what it might mean to “learn to think in a new way.”
Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity
Book
April 30, 1979
74,199
764
Renowned for his contributions to anthropology, biology, and the social sciences, Bateson asserts that man must think as Nature does to live in harmony on the earth and, citing examples from the natural world, he maintains that biological evolution is a mental process.
Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Book
1972
682
Steps to an Ecology of Mind is a collection of Gregory Bateson's short works over his long and varied career. Subject matter includes essays on anthropology, cybernetics, psychiatry, and epistemology.



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