Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, Beauty, and the Sacred Earth

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Overview

Gregory Bateson (1904-1980), anthropologist, psychologist, systems thinker, student of animal communication, and insightful environmentalist, was one of the most important holistic thinkers of the twentieth century. Noel G. Charlton offers this first truly accessible introduction to Bateson's work, distilling and clarifying Bateson's understanding of the "mind" or "mental systems" as being present throughout the living Earth, in systems and creatures of all kinds. Part biography, part overview of the evolution of his ideas, Charlton's book situates Bateson's thought in relation to that of other ecological thinkers. This long-awaited volume opens up this challenging thinker's body of work and introduces it to a new generation of readers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Charlton has taken an unusual, indeed unique, approach to the works and thought of Gregory Bateson.” — Cybernetics and Human Knowing

“A valuable book, primarily directed to specialists in environmental philosophy, ethics, and action.” — CHOICE

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Noel G. Charlton has enjoyed work in commerce and industry, school teaching, small holding and house restoration in Scotland, antinuclear activism, wild species preservation, residential community life, and research and study in university and college settings. These experiences have been unified by a deep concern for the natural world and a growing conviction of the spiritual and religious significance of the whole of the living planet.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Sacred: A Poem xiii

Chapter 1 Introduction: Gregory Bateson, the Urgency of Our Ecological Crisis and the Possibility of "Grace" 1

Chapter 2 Bateson: The Man and the Growth of His Ideas 11

Chapter 3 Mind and Bateson's Claims: The Living World is Organized by Minds 31

Chapter 4 The Evolution of Bateson's Thought about Aesthetics: The Earlier Years 69

Chapter 5 Aesthetics, Ecology, and the Path Toward Grace 101

Chapter 6 Aesthetic Engagement and the Grace of Relatedness 137

Chapter 7 Bateson and The Sacred 159

Chapter 8 Wise Action? 209

Appendix Table of Lifetime Events and Publications 225

Notes 243

Bibliography 249

Index 273

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