Patterns of Connection: Gregory Bateson, American Pragmatism and European Philosophy

Academic Meeting
Patterns of Connection: Gregory Bateson, American Pragmatism and European Philosophy

Working from Bateson's interest in "patterns which connect," the pre-conference theme interrogates Bateson's relevance to contemporary philosophy of communication. These connections could include phenomenology, hermeneutics, semiotics, feminist theory, psychoanalysis, etc. Focus need not be exclusively on specific writings by Bateson but should address aspects of his ideas that tie into philosophy of communication. For example, though Bateson (and Jurgen Ruesch) did not explicitly build on the works of William James, C. S. Peirce or John Dewey, it could be asked whether Bateson's concepts of mind, nature, and society are outgrowths of pragmatism. Though Bateson was not, per se, a phenomenologist, hermeneut or semiotician, to what extent are his ideas compatible with these philosophical perspectives? Are there connections to be made between Bateson and Maurice Merleau- Ponty, Michel Foucault, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Luc Nancy, Richard Rorty, Richard Bernstein, Kenneth Gergen, or others? Ts the "ecology of communication" that evolved from Bateson's ideas in the early I980s relevant to postmodernity? What are the implied ethics of Bateson's work? Are there contemporary human science or social science applications of the double-bind concept that could inform current communication inquiry? How does Bateson's work inform or provide grounds for critique in or of cultural studies? What is Bateson's philosophy of governance? Connections may be made to any area of communication inquiry.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Klaus Krippendorff, The Gregory Bateson Professor for Cybernetics, Language, and Culture, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dr. Vincent Colapietro, Liberal Arts Research Professor, Department of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University.

Special conference events:
The conference will include a screening of Nora Bateson's film "An Ecology of Mind: A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson."

Panel of Respondents who will address conceptions of Mind and problematics of communication.

Scholars from related disciplines are invited to submit papers, extended abstracts, and panel proposals for possible inclusion in the conference to Dr. Deborah Eicher-Catt (dle4 [at] and Dr. Isaac E. Catt (icatt309 [at]

Penn State, York
May 09, 2015, 12:56 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
May 09, 2015, 12:57 by Mats Bergman