It is more difficult to achieve this correction of

This preview shows page 129 - 131 out of 171 pages.

world is only a spin-off from our own perceptions and thought. It is more difficult to achieve this correction of epistemological dualism when we are looking at biological entities, for these the birds and fishes and people and developing embryos create their own premises and guidelines and abide by these premises in their development of physiology and systems of action. It is hard to keep clearly be before the scientific mind the general epistemological verity: that the Ten Commandments, the rules of morphogenesis and embryology, and the premises of grammar in animal Kommentar [d52]: In Blake's original myth, Urizen, the representation of abstractions and an abstraction of the human self, is the first entit y. […] Within the early works, Urizen represents the chains of reason that are imposed on the mind. Urizen, like mankind, is bound by these chains. [Wikipedia]
Image of page 129
and human communication are all part of the vast mental process which is immanent in our world and all as real, and as unreal , as syllogistic logic. IV The Gaps in the Fabric Now that we have pulled out ―structure from the ongoing organized flux of the universe, it is appropriate to attempt a synthesis to put it back again. Let us see how our fabric of descriptions and reports and injunctions fit a world fleshed out with life and happenings. First, it is conspicuously full of holes. If we try to cover life with our descriptions of it or if we try to think of the totality of an organism as somehow fully covered by its own message system we at once see that more description is needed. But, however much structure is added, however minutely detailed our specifications, there are always gaps. Even without looking at the living subject matter of our structural report, and listening only to what can be said, we feel the jump between each clause of description and each other clause, between the coverage of every sentence of our description and every next sentence. The poem ― The Battle of Blenheim ‖ by Robert Southey, describes a child looking at an object he has discovered: … so large, and smooth, and round … says Wilhelmine Later we discover that he is talking about the skull of a soldier killed in battle (― ‗twas a famous victory‖), but that knowledge is made up of the [[p_163]] results of jumping from one statement to another. We must know what ―large‖ means to a ―little grandchild‖ playing in a field. As hearers we must be willing to jump from size to texture, and from texture to shape, and obey a mental recipe which the poet offers us. But compared with the reality, the description is a miserable gathering of outlines. We really have a very incomplete knowledge either of the skull or of little Wilhelmine, and this is not the fault of the poet, who has given us so little to go on. It is an inevitable result of the nature of the communicative process. The data given will never meet each other to cover the subject of description.
Image of page 130
Image of page 131

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 171 pages?

  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors