The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 19, Issue 1/4, 2003

Special Issue on Gregory Bateson

Mary Catherine Bateson
Pages 3-15

Daddy, Can a Scientist Be Wise?

My thinking in this essay, written in 1977, reflects the 1968 Wenner-Gren Conference on Conscious Purpose and Human Adaptation, organized by Gregory, about which I wrote Our Own Metaphor, as well as later conversations, but I had not yet worked with Gregory on Mind and Nature. Here, I explore Gregory’s idiosyncratic definitions of evocative terms like “love”, “mind”, and “wisdom” in terms of a cybernetically-based epistemology. The style and context are reflective of his Father-Daughter “metalogues”, composed to explore concepts he was not yet ready to define fully, one of which is quoted as an introduction. Most of the sub-headings have been added.