Biosemiotics

Gregory Bateson on Relational Communication: From Octopuses to Nations

Authors: Guddemi, Phillip

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  • Presents the work of Gregory Bateson in context to biosemiotics 
  • Examines Gregory Bateson’s concept of “communication about relationship” in a number of realms: from play and mood-signs, to analog and digital, to conflict and peacemaking, in animals (including octopuses), humans, and nations 
  • Situates in this context for the first time in publication, Gregory Bateson’s own unpublished studies of octopuses 
  • Demonstrates how Gregory Bateson applied his remarkable analysis of conflict and peacemaking in the instance of the Cuban Missile Crisis
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eBook 117,69 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-52101-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 155,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book develops Gregory Bateson’s ideas regarding “communication about relationship” in animals and human beings, and even nations.  It bases itself on Bateson’s theory of relational communication, as he described it in the zoosemiotics of octopus, mammals, birds, and human beings.  This theory includes, for example, the roles of metaphor, play, analog and digital communication, metacommunication, and Laws of Form

It is organized around a letter from Gregory Bateson to his fellow cybernetic thinker Warren  McCulloch at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  In this letter Bateson argued that what we would today call zoosemiotics, including Bateson’s own (previously unpublished) octopus research, should be made a basis for understanding the relationship between the two blocs of the Cold War.  Accordingly the book shows how Bateson understood interactive processes in the biosemiotics of conflict and peacemaking, which are analyzed using examples from recent animal studies, from primate studies, and from cultural anthropology.  The Missile Crisis itself is described in terms of Bateson’s critique of game theory which he felt should be modified by an understanding of the zoosemiotics of relational communication.

The book also includes a previously unpublished piece by Gregory Bateson on wolf behavior and metaphor/ abduction.

About the authors

Phillip Guddemi is by training a cultural anthropologist and longtime student of cybernetics, biosemiotics, and Gregory Bateson’s work.  He was fortunate enough to take classes from Bateson as an undergraduate.  (As an anthropologist, he did fieldwork in Papua New Guinea as Gregory Bateson had done decades before.)  He is the President of the Bateson Idea Group which works with the Gregory Bateson estate to further the exploration of Gregory Bateson’s ideas and to administer his intellectual rights.  He is also a Director of the International Bateson Institute, a nonprofit foundation for transcontextual research, inspired by three generations of Batesons, which examines the interactions within complex systems involving life.

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 117,69 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-52101-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 155,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Gregory Bateson on Relational Communication: From Octopuses to Nations
Authors
Series Title
Biosemiotics
Series Volume
20
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-52101-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-52101-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-52100-4
Series ISSN
1875-4651
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 189
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics