Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) was an anthropologist, social scientist, linguist and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. Some of his most noted writings are to be found in his books, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 1973, and Mind and Nature, 1980.
Bateson is most famous for developing the "Double Bind" theory of psychology, and for being Margaret Mead's husband. In academic circles he is something of a cult figure whose appeal includes his obscurity, eccentricity and diversity of accomplishment.
By his own admission Bateson is widely misunderstood and his inability to write clearly is largely at fault. His writings are difficult for a number of reasons, particularly his tendency to speak in the abstract. However, many scholars consider his works to contain a great deal of original thought and reward careful reading.
One of the threads that connects Bateson's work is an interest in systems theory and cybernetics. Bateson's take on these fields is idiosyncratic and centers upon their relationship to epistemology.
Epigrams coined by or referred to by Bateson
Number is different from quantity.
The map is not the territory, and the name is not the thing named. Coined by Alfred Korzybski.
There are no monotone "values" in biology.
Logic is a poor model of cause and effect.
Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction.
Bateson defines information as "a difference that makes a difference", "knowledge is a difference that makes a difference that makes a difference".
Terms used by Bateson
Creatura & Pleroma. Coined by Carl Gustav Jung in "THE SEVEN SERMONS TO THE DEAD". Like the Hindu term maya, the basic idea captured in this distinction is that meaning and organization are projected onto the world. Pleroma refers to the world undifferentiated by subjectivity; Creatura for the perceived world, subject to difference, distinction, and information.
The Double Bind. This refers to his theory that part of the etiology of schizophrenia lies in contradictory behavior on the part of parents.