Steps to an Ecology of Mind

Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Author Gregory Bateson
Subject Anthropology, Cybernetics
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publication date
Pages 542
ISBN 0-226-03905-6
OCLC 42309905

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. It was originally published by Chandler Publishing Company in 1972 (republished 2000 with foreword by Mary Catherine Bateson).[1]

The book begins with a series of metalogues, which take the form of conversations with his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson. The metalogues are mostly thought exercises with titles such as "What is an Instinct" and "How Much Do You Know." In the metalogues, the playful dialectic structure itself is closely related to the subject matter of the piece.

Part I: Metalogues

DEFINITION: A metalogue is a conversation about some problematic subject. This conversation should be such that not only do the participants discuss the problem but the structure of the conversation as a whole is also relevant to the same subject. Only some of the conversations here presented achieve this double format.

Notably, the history of evolutionary theory is inevitably a metalogue between man and nature, in which the creation and interaction of ideas must necessarily exemplify evolutionary process.[2]

Part II: Form and Pattern in Anthropology

Part II is a collection of anthropological writings, many of which were written while he was married to Margaret Mead.

Part III: Form and Pathology in Relationship

Part III is devoted to the theme of "Form and Pathology in Relationships." His essay on alcoholism examines the alcoholic state of mind, and the methodology of Alcoholics Anonymous within the framework of the then-nascent field of cybernetics.

Part IV is a collection of writings on "Biology and Evolution."

Part V is devoted to "Epistemology and Ecology."

Part VI is entitled "Crisis in the Ecology of Mind."

See also

Notes and references

  1. Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-03905-6.
  2. Steps To an Ecology of Mind
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