>Reply-To: "Paul A. Stokes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>From: "Paul A. Stokes" <email@example.com>
>To: "Francis Heylighen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Fw: [pcp-discuss:] Fwd: Criticisms of Bateson - my twopence
>Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 17:36:50 -0800
>I would be obliged if you would forward this to the list. I am
>having difficulty posting it - probably because I am not sending
>from my Dublin college location (the adress with which I am
>subscribed to the list) but from Santa Barbara! Many thanks,
>Wiener was certainly sceptical of what he considered to be the
>over-ambitious reachings of Bateson and Mead and would have erred on
>the side of caution.
>He was also possessed the haughty disdain of those who have command
>of a narrowly defined technical
>domain for those who seek to apply its principles to 'softer areas' but who
>are not themselves technically expert in the area. Wiener might well have
>doubted whether any non-mathematician ever really 'got' cybernetics.
>Nonetheless he did manage to overcome his own limititations in this regard
>and went on to produce 'The Human Use of Human Beings' in which he
>unequivocally states (quotes available to anyone who wishes) that human
>society cannot be understood outside of the framework of communication and
>control i.e., cybernetics.He doesn't give us very clear guidelines as to how
>to do this but there you are. Allay your fears.
>If cybernetics was not applicable to the social domain then what of Powers'
>Perceptual Control Theory and Beer's Viable System Model and
>Managerial/Organizational Cybernetics generally?
>As for Bateson. I really do consider him the heir of Wiener in this regard.
>He is really very rigorous and logical - so much so as to be off-putting
>because he cannot be denied once encountered. Dismissal is one way of course.
>Even Norbert Elias dismissed Batson's Mind and Nature as 'metaphysical'.
>This is a good joke but Elias was really cutting off his own nose to spite
>his face. Bateson was actually opening the door ro precisely the kind of
>conceptual revolution in the social sciences that Elias yearned for for
>could not deliver himself. Bateson, of course, does not have the final say.
>His work has to be built on and that is our task.
>I have not read the Stengers article but would like to. (Anybody got the
>exact ref?) It is hard to know what to make of such apparently superficial
>and misinformed criticism. She may have been frustrated that Bateson's
>inaugural distinction seemed to block her and Prigogine's work on
>disspiative structures from wider acceptance and applicability particularly
>in the social sciences and felt the need to attack him at the core of his
>thought. A bad move I think. Human dissipative structures have to work
>through information and communication, whether she likes it or not. It is
>not beyond someone's imagination and creativity to work out a link between
>their (P & S) and Bateson's work.
>Of course we all live in the world of creatura, even physicists who must
>metacommunicate about what they see happening in the pleromatic world of
>energetics and causality. The fact that this world has been revealed to be
>more even more complex and complicated in its interactions (thanks to P & S)
>does not in principle invalidate Bateson's distinction.
>Bateson has laid the foundation stone. It is up to us to erect the building.
>For instance, Bateson's work on emotions was inspirational but it is
>certainly not the last word. A great deal of further necessary work as been
>done and should see the light of day shortly.
>Some day the social sciences will recognise Bateson as one of their founding
>Paul A. STOKES
>Dept.of Sociology, UCSB
_________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Francis Heylighen <email@example.com> -- Center "Leo Apostel" Free University of Brussels, Krijgskundestr. 33, 1160 Brussels, Belgium tel +32-2-6442677; fax +32-2-6440744; http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/HEYL.html ======================================== Posting to firstname.lastname@example.org from Francis Heylighen <email@example.com>
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