Gregory Bateson

Gregory Bateson
Gregory Bateson
  • Born: May 9, 1904
  • Died: July 4, 1980
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Scientist

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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 (1972) and Mind and Nature (1979). Angels Fear (published posthumously in 1987) was co-authored by his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson.

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A major difficulty is that the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx is partly a product of the answers that we already have given to the riddle in its various forms.
All experience is subjective.
But epistemology is always and inevitably personal. The point of the probe is always in the heart of the explorer: What is my answer to the question of the nature of knowing? Nature
Every move we make in fear of the next war in fact hastens it. War & Peace
If we pursue this matter further, we shall be told that the stable object is unchanging under the impact or stress of some particular external or internal variable or, perhaps, that it resists the passage of time. Time
In the transmission of human culture, people always attempt to replicate, to pass on to the next generation the skills and values of the parents, but the attempt always fails because cultural transmission is geared to learning, not DNA. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Interesting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined, and these phenomena illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another.
It is impossible, in principle, to explain any pattern by invoking a single quantity.
It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.
It is to the Riddle of the Sphinx that I have devoted fifty years of professional life as an anthropologist. Life
It is, I claim, nonsense to say that it does not matter which individual man acted as the nucleus for the change. It is precisely this that makes history unpredictable into the future. Future ;History
Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction. Communication & Communications
Logic can often be reversed, but the effect does not precede the cause.
Logic is a poor model of cause and effect.
Members of weakly religious families get, of course, no religious training from any source outside the family. Families, Children & Parenting
Money is always transitively valued. More money is supposedly always better than less money. Money, Coins & Minting
Number is different from quantity.
Numbers are the product of counting. Quantities are the product of measurement. This means that numbers can conceivably be accurate because there is a discontinuity between each integer and the next.
Official education was telling people almost nothing of the nature of all those things on the seashores, and in the redwood forests, in the deserts and in the plains. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Nature
Rather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.
Science, like art, religion, commerce, warfare, and even sleep, is based on presuppositions. Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Synaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.
There is a strong tendency in explanatory prose to invoke quantities of tension, energy, and whatnot to explain the genesis of pattern. I believe that all such explanations are inappropriate or wrong.
To think straight, it is advisable to expect all qualities and attributes, adjectives, and so on to refer to at least two sets of interactions in time. Time
We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future. Future