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Gregory Bateson's Quotes

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Born: 1904-05-09
Profession: Scientist
Nation: British
Biography of Gregory Bateson

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Logic can often be reversed, but the effect does not precede the cause.

Tags: Cause, Logic, Often

In the transmission of human culture, people always attempt to replicate, to pass on to the next generation the skills and values of the parents, but the attempt always fails because cultural transmission is geared to learning, not DNA.

Tags: Human, Learning, Parents

All experience is subjective.

Tags: Experience, Subjective

We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.

Tags: Enough, Future, Present

Language commonly stresses only one side of any interaction.

Tags: Commonly, Language, Side

Logic is a poor model of cause and effect.

Tags: Cause, Logic, Poor

Science, like art, religion, commerce, warfare, and even sleep, is based on presuppositions.

Tags: Art, Religion, Science

Interesting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined, and these phenomena illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another.

Tags: Another, Patterns, Phenomena

Numbers are the product of counting. Quantities are the product of measurement. This means that numbers can conceivably be accurate because there is a discontinuity between each integer and the next.

Tags: Between, Means, Next

Number is different from quantity.

Tags: Number, Quantity

But epistemology is always and inevitably personal. The point of the probe is always in the heart of the explorer: What is my answer to the question of the nature of knowing?

Tags: Heart, Nature, Personal

Rather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.

Tags: Fall, Rather, Value

Every move we make in fear of the next war in fact hastens it.

Tags: Fact, Fear, War

It is impossible, in principle, to explain any pattern by invoking a single quantity.

Tags: Impossible, Principle, Single

It is to the Riddle of the Sphinx that I have devoted fifty years of professional life as an anthropologist.

Tags: Fifty, Life, Riddle

Members of weakly religious families get, of course, no religious training from any source outside the family.

Tags: Family, Religious, Training

Money is always transitively valued. More money is supposedly always better than less money.

Tags: Less, Money, Valued
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A major difficulty is that the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx is partly a product of the answers that we already have given to the riddle in its various forms.

Tags: Answer, Answers, Difficulty

If we pursue this matter further, we shall be told that the stable object is unchanging under the impact or stress of some particular external or internal variable or, perhaps, that it resists the passage of time.

Tags: Matter, Stress, Time

It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.

Tags: Living, Step, Turn

It is, I claim, nonsense to say that it does not matter which individual man acted as the nucleus for the change. It is precisely this that makes history unpredictable into the future.

Tags: Change, Future, History

Official education was telling people almost nothing of the nature of all those things on the seashores, and in the redwood forests, in the deserts and in the plains.

Tags: Almost, Education, Nature

Synaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.

Tags: Fired, Technical, Used

There is a strong tendency in explanatory prose to invoke quantities of tension, energy, and whatnot to explain the genesis of pattern. I believe that all such explanations are inappropriate or wrong.

Tags: Energy, Strong, Wrong

To think straight, it is advisable to expect all qualities and attributes, adjectives, and so on to refer to at least two sets of interactions in time.

Tags: Expect, Straight, Time

The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it.

Tags: Death, Meaning, Story

Fear is not a good teacher. The lessons of fear are quickly forgotten.

Tags: Fear, Good, Teacher

Human beings do not eat nutrients, they eat food.

Tags: Eat, Food, Human

Sharing is sometimes more demanding than giving.

Tags: Giving, Sharing, Sometimes

There are few things as toxic as a bad metaphor. You can't think without metaphors.

Tags: Bad, Few, Metaphors

Fluidity and discontinuity are central to the reality in which we live.

Tags: Central, Fluidity, Reality

Goals too clearly defined can become blinkers.

Tags: Become, Clearly, Goals

No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a really nice man who wishes she were not.

Tags: May, Nice, Woman

Of any stopping place in life, it is good to ask whether it will be a good place from which to go on as well as a good place to remain.

Tags: Good, Life, Place

The capacity to combine commitment with skepticism is essential to democracy.

Tags: Capacity, Commitment, Democracy

The family is changing, not disappearing. We have to broaden our understanding of it, look for the new metaphors.

Tags: Changing, Family, Metaphors

I am not a member of the CIA or any other intelligence agency.

Tags: Agency, Cia, Member

What I learned from my father is to think big.

Tags: Big, Father, Learned

I can tell you that today 99% of my investments are in Brazil and will remain here.

Tags: Here, Tell, Today

You cannot exist as a $20 billion company with speculation.

Tags: Cannot, Company, Exist

Finding oil is a multidisciplinary science. You need a lot of people - statisticians, engineers, and geologists, of course. And what I have learned in the past 30 years is that I read people better than I read books.

Tags: Learned, Past, Science

I was educated to think maybe Brazil works, maybe it doesn't. But I decided I am going to make this country work for my children. I am investing all my effort now in making Brazil a great country.

Tags: Children, Great, Work

To be powerful in South America, you have to be transparent and you have to have a very clean reputation. Transparency for me today is a magic word in South America. Power comes from transparency and a track record of execution.

Tags: Power, Powerful, Today
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