Two recent articles (Dell, 1985; Held & Pols, 1985a) have explored the problems created for the field of family therapy by a failure to use the term “epistemology” correctly – a failure that has produced a confusion between epistemology and ontology. The major problem is the contradiction of insisting, on the one hand, on the epistemological doctrine that there is no independent reality available to the knower and making, on the other hand, (ontological) claims about how the world really is (e.g., that the world operates by way of circular causality). This article examines Dell’s (1985) attempt, by appealing to Maturana’s doctrine of structure determinism, to resolve a version of this contradiction.
UNDERSTANDING BATESON AND MATURANA: TOWARD A BIOLOGICAL FOUNDATION FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES | Paul F. Dell (1985)
The attempts to clarify (purify) the conceptual foundations of family therapy by means of “epistemology” have bred excitement, boredom, irritation and confusion. In the belief that at least the confusion can be alleviated, the present paper is offered as a study guide and something of a Rosetta Stone for translating the work of Gregory Bateson and Humberto R. Maturana. The paper demonstrates that Maturana’s work is highly compatible with that of Bateson. In addition, several major points of contrast are argued: (1) Maturana’s concept of structure determinism is an explicit ontological claim which directly implies an epistemology, whereas Bateson delineated an epistemology, but never clearly developed a corresponding ontology; (2) structure determinism is a more general concept than Bateson’s concept of “mind” (i.e., cybernetic epistemology); (3) structure determinism deletes the remnants of objectivity from Bateson’s theory (i.e., “the difference that makes a difference”); and (4) Maturana’s concept of instructive interaction is a more general, nonsystemic version of what Bateson meant when he used the term “epistemological error.” Finally, it is claimed that the emphasis on epistemology has distracted proponents and detractors alike from the essential message of Bateson and Maturana: social systems and all human endeavor must be understood in light of our existence as biological entities that are coupled to a medium. The biological ontology implicit in Bateson’s writings and explicitly delineated in Maturana’s may (at long last) provide a sound foundation for the social and behavioral sciences.
Social Philosophy and Oncology | G. Baruchello and E. Hjörleifsdóttir (2014)
McMurtry’s work offers a contribution to the understanding, as well as to development of standards for the measurement, of human well-being, so that progress and regress may be interpreted in ways that mainstream economic criteria neglect or fail to ascertain, both in theory and in practice. The importance of determining novel standards and indicators is considerable, and widely acknowledged by many academics and politicians (for example, the 2008–2009 Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission created by the French Government), but above all it is important to reconceptualise economic phenomena so as to re-orient them in line with life-based criteria.
First, it has already been highlighted that the type of ‘growth’ conceptualised and pursued in today’s global market has had systemic negative effects upon life at many levels, to the point of making possible the explanation of said implications by means of a cancer-based explanatory model. ‘Real capital’ as ‘life capital’ is both unseen and harmed by standard economic thought (CSC2013, p. 12).
Second, in the wake of the current economic crisis, the same global market has been proven equally unable to attain ‘growth’ on its own life-blind terms, that is, in terms of pecuniary aggrandisement for money investors and/or managers (cf. Crotty, 2000). ‘Real capital’ as sheer ‘money’ is not there either, especially if one considers that the vast meltdowns of the last few decades have been caused by speculative bubbles in exponentially ‘leveraged’ masses of currency without any ‘grounding’ in ‘a medium of exchange and capital’ such as ‘gold, labour, or livestock’ (CSC2013, p. 12).
The system’s inherent rationality, which economics textbooks presuppose, is to be seriously questioned, and that is what McMurtry’s work does, consistent with Castoriadis’ (2005a, p. 129) poignant characterisation of the Socratic role that philosophers are expected to play in genuinely democratic societies: the possibility and the ability to call established institutions and significations into question. Whether he will be listened to, we do not know. However, responding to a cancer diagnosis by avoiding what alone can work is fatal.
Intro to Terry Deacon’s Teleodynamics | Jeremy Sherman
The Gift of Salvation | Sermon by Father Courage Dogbey on August 21, 2022
Clipped from: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – YouTube
The Century of the Self (2002) | Adam Curtis
To many in politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly, the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
Prof John McMurtry – Winning the War of the World – Toronto Z-Day, 2014
John McMurtry shows that a false economic paradigm holds the world in thrall to a global corporate death system masked as market freedom. Liberation is explained as grounded in humanity’s repressed life-value code, life capital bases and civil commons organization which unify across distances and differences.
The Still Unseen Mothering Life-Ground that Nurtures Us All: The Co-Creative Gifting Source of All Unknown Unknowns
Excerpts from: Vaughan, G. (2015). The gift in the heart of language: The maternal source of meaning. Mimesis. (pp. 40, 411, 424-429, 435-436)
“I also want to give you a typological gift. I believe that solving problems is a kind of gift-giving. The typological problem I want to solve is the one having to do with gender inclusiveness that is addressed in English at present by adding a slash to the gender pronouns he and she, as in s/he. I believe this is a disturbing slash, perhaps phallic and even violent. Including it in the feminine pronoun seems to include these masculine characteristics in the female. Instead, I propose using ‘: ‘ as a sign of nipples which both women and men have, but which directly recall the mother, as in s:he. With this I hope to show that both women and men can follow the maternal model, the model of the gift economy.” (p. 40)
Words of Wisdom from Dr Zach Bush: On Humanity’s Awakening, Hope for Humanity & Finding Light in the Darkness | Luke Storey
Dr. Zach Bush is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. He founded Seraphic Group and the nonprofit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health. He sees that there is a dramatic need for a radical departure from chemical farming and pharmacy, and his ongoing efforts are providing a path for consumers, farmers, and mega-industries to work together for a healthy future for people and the planet.
So, really, there’s never been a better time to sit down with Dr. Bush — because our society and planet clearly need some help right now.
As you remember, Zach Bush MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care. He’s also an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. Our last conversation, which felt like an energy vortex of connectedness and truthfinding, episode 304, is one of my most streamed ever.
This week, he weaves at least a dozen thought patterns that might change your life forever. He is both flatly at peace with the end of all life and truthfully optimistic on our chances. You’re going to want to settle in for this one. Open your mind, and your notebook. Zach is a deep pool of mindblowing knowledge and perspective. I’m so excited to bring you this conversation.
Technofeudalism and Cloud Capital: A Conversation with Yanis Varoufakis
Is a new economic model toppling capitalism? Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Minister for Finance and current leader of the MeRA25 Party, discusses the future of capitalism, his theories of technofeudalism and cloud capital, and the invasion of Ukraine. This event was hosted on April 4, 2022 by Stanford in Government member Ryan Cieslikowski. Stanford in Government (SIG) is Stanford’s preeminent organization for students dedicated to public service and civic engagement. To learn more about SIG, follow us on Instagram (@stanfordingov), Facebook (Stanford in Government), and Twitter (@stanfordingov). You can also visit our website: sig.stanford.edu. Read More