It is always relationship between things that is the

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know. It is always relationship between things that is the referent of all valid propositions. It is a man- made notion the ―hardness‖ is immanent in one end of a binary relationship. [[p_158]] It is suggestive that the mathematicians are content to accept the idea that relationships between propositions can be self-evident, while they are unwilling to grant this status to the propositions themselves. It is as if they were claiming to know how to talk, but not to know what they are talking about. And that position is precisely parallel to my own. I have great difficulty in discussing the vast mental organization of the world and great difficulty in discussing the parts of it, but it seems to me that we can, with care, talk about how that vast organization thinks. We can explore the kind of links it uses between its propositions, while we can never know whit it thinks about. These links an patterns of relationship which I want to discuss are necessarily regular and form a part of the Eternal Verities, including the rules for joining together items of discourse, together with the natural history of what happens when items are joined together in inappropriate ways. I include in my field of investigation what the DNA says to the growing embryo and to the physiological body. I include what the structure of the brain says to the processes of thought. I include all discourse, which bonds together the phenomena of any ecosystem. The rules of relationship between items of mental or ideational live are not unbrea kable ―laws‖ of nature nor even absolute recipes of logic. The may be and often are breached. But again I say, God is not mocked. Kommentar [d50]: [The] characteristics of dream may be archaic, but it is important to remember that they are not obsolete: that, as kinesic and paralinguistic communication has been elaborated into dance, music, and poetry, so also the logic of dream has been elaborated into theater and art. Still more astonishing is that world of rigorous fantasy which we call mathematics, a world forever isolated by its axioms and definitions from the possibility of making an indicative statement about the "real" world. Only if a straight line is the shortest distance between two points is the theorem of Pythagoras asserted. GB: Redundancy and Coding. In: Steps to an Ecology of Mind , p430
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III Between the Lines In spite of the limitations of logic, we can borrow from it the notion that the results of computation or abstract reasoning are not what is ―eternal‖ and self - evident, nor, it seems, are the explicit steps leading to those results. What is self-evident is precisely what is between the lines of computation. Mathematicians call the underlying pattern of a given computation an algorithm. Out of this we shall attempt to tease the sorts of propositions of which the algorithm is made.
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  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

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