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Gregory Bateson: Steps to an Ecology of Mind

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This 5 page paper gives a brief biography of Gregory Bateson and reviews his book, “Steps to an Ecology of Mind.” Bibliography lists 2 sources.

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5 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_HVBatesn.rtf

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and discusses his book Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Discussion Gregory Bateson: Bateson was born in Great Britain, went to school at Cambridge University, and did fieldwork in New Guinea, where he met Margaret Mead, whom he would later marry (Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980). Through Mead, he became acquainted with the "psychologically oriented anthropology of Ruth Benedict" ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). He moved to the U.S. in 1939 and among other things, began to write ("Bateson, Gregory, 1904-1980"). In the late 1930s, "Bateson and Mead did pioneering work in visual anthropology. Their photographic fieldwork on Bali attempted to document and analyze the implicit body language ... of their informants" ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). In the 1940s, Bateson and members of an "interdisciplinary group lead by Norbert Wiener ... invented cybernetics," a field that would have a lasting impact on Batesons work ("Bateson, Gregory, 1904-1980"). At the end of WWII and his divorce from Mead (1950), Bateson "moved to California and drifted out of mainstream anthropology (which largely disregarded his work) into psychology" ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). Bateson invented the "double-bind theory of schizophrenia" as well as "communication theory" ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). He collected some of his articles "from the 1950s and 60s" and published them in Steps to an Ecology of Mind ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). At this time too his influence on mainstream anthropology became apparent but it was Steps to an Ecology of Mind that cemented his reputation ("Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980"). The book was first published in 1972 and has been through seven English editions as well as being translated into French, German, Russian, and Norwegian (Bateson, Gregory 1904-1980). Steps to an Ecology of Mind: In this collection of articles, Bateson explores various aspects of something he calls "mind," "a term he used to refer to complex, autonomous, cybernetic systems, ...

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