Logic tends to be lineal moving from a to b or from a

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whole in balance. Logic tends to be lineal, moving from A to B or from a premise to a conclusion; logic frowns on arguments that move in circles. [Similarly, formal logic rejects as invalid the metaphorical connections that are so pervasive in the natural world.]
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I am therefore unwilling in the description of life to trust to logic or logicians as a source of verities. It is, however, interesting to consider the properties of the self-corrective circuit itself as an example of profound abstract verity, and this is the subject matter of cybernetics and the first step in using cybernetics in moving towards new ways of thinking about nature. Perhaps we may be driven later to some still more profound and abstract set of descriptions of relations but the relations of circuits will do for a starter, always remembering the verity that there are inevitable limitations on any act of description, which we have yet to spell out in detail. [[p_145]] XIV Metalogue: It’s Not Here (MCB) DAUGHTER: Daddy, it‘s just not here . FATHER: What‘s not? DAUGHTER: You just don‘t spell out what, finally, you mean by ―the sacred,‖ and you don‘t tell us beans about Eco. We need more before we‘ll be ready to go off in a new discussion of epistemology in the biological world and your particular notion of ―structure.‖ It‘s not easy for people to equate the ―pattern which connects‖ with the sacred or see your kind of description, which sounds s o dry, as proposing a sort of epiphany. At least that‘s how I interpret the link between the section that deals with unifying ideas like anangke or karma or ngglambi and what you then go on to say about the problems of thinking about the biological world, which I‘ve set up as the next chapter. You get all involved in talking about your favorite Greek tragedies and then you go off on a discussion of epistemology, but you don‘t really draw the connections. I can see what some of the connections have to be, bu t I can‘t know that I see it the way you do. You know, it struck me when I was working on this part of the manuscript that what you had done was to whack out a huge hunk of draft for your editor, putting everything that‘s now in chapter 13 and everything that‘s now in chapter 16 together, so it came out as a sort of model of the whole book, groping and all. Daddy, do you remember the story of McCullochs‘s mother. FATHER: Which was that? [[p_146]] DAUGHTER: It was ne of you favourite stories for a while. I guess you were having a discussion with some of the cybernetics people at Warren McCulloch‘s house about information retrieval. He went into the kitchen to get coffee, and there he found his mother, who must have been a very old lady by that time, and sh e was in a rage. ―You talk about information retrieval,‖ she said, ―but you cheat. I know what the problem is because I don‘t have any memory anymore. The only way I can find anything is to keep a little bit of everything everywhere .
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  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

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