Exercise - annotations

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Ecology of mind, by Gregory Bateson The Science of Mind and Order - Introduction Chapter (p.1 - 11)

at www.edtechpost.ca/readings/Gregory%20Bateson%20-%20Ecology%20of%20Mind.pdf

In this introductory text, Bateson presents the structure of the book: a collection of essays in which a new way of thinking about ideas is proposed. The term "ecology of mind" is used to describe ideas as interacting parts; ideas as an ecological system - a mental process.

"Form, substance and difference" (p.2)- defining what is important and what distinguishes and states the value of a subject matter.

Data definition (p.4): "data are not events or objects but always records or descriptions or memories of events or objects. Always there is a transformation or recoding of the raw events which intervenes between the scientist and his object". Data presented as a starting point for the scientist; as reliable information. Although "no data is truly raw" since it has already been subject of a previous transformation by men or his instruments.

The description and classification of these processes of transformation discloses a hierarchy of logical types. Bateson makes use of a case study as to exemplify the classification of propositions in two ways: empirical or tautological.

"Explanation" (p.5), a term usually associated with "Cause and Reason", meaning the "mapping of data onto fundamentals, but the ultimate goal of science is the increase of fundamental knowledge".

Scientific hypotheses (p.6), characteristically dormitive, usually followed by inductive reasoning "lead to something like the present state of the behavioral sciences - a mass of quasi-theoretical speculation unconnected with any core of fundamental knowledge". In the following essays, Bateson questions the bridge between behavioral data and the fundamentals of scientific philosophic knowledge.

In addition, in the collection of essays Bateson will focus on two independent principles when leading a scientific research:

1. "the observations cannot be denied";

2."the fundamentals must be fitted".

Another example is presented (p.9) - a Judaeo-Christian myth - and further analysis of the fundamental philosophic and scientific problems concerning it.

Summary of the book content (p.11): "This book is concerned with building a bridge between the facts of life and behavior and what we know today of the nature of pattern and order." Steps to an Ecology of Mind will discuss how individuals and society as a whole elaborate ideas, how ideas connect and interact, how they are structured; how they approach knowledge; and influence the way reality is perceived. Mind - a complex interactive system.

film available: www.anecologyofmind.com/