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Upside-Down Gods$
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Peter Harries-Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270347

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270347.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

The Bonds That Bind

The Bonds That Bind

(p.111) 5 The Bonds That Bind
Upside-Down Gods

Peter Harries-Jones

Fordham University Press

Communication involves several layers of relationship of self-with-others all at the same time, and people can easily get into a tangle or ‘bind’ with others. In any family, silence on the subject matter of relationship can lead to pathology, for it is never enough for human beings to agree that they love, hate, respect each other, they must forever re-affirm that fact. Silence is a condition of schizophrenia, and psychotherapists originally termed the condition a reversion to primitive mentality. Bateson re-evaluates schizophrenic behavior as an inability to perceive appropriate context in communication initiated by double binds of communication. Against arguments that schizophrenia is brought about by genetic determination, he argues for a many-level, or holistic approach, with therapy introduced by way of a theory of levels or logical types, with each logical type representing a relationship. R.D. Laing realized how profoundly Bateson’s notion of ‘madness’ as an ‘inner voyage’ with its endogenous dynamics spoke to his (Laing) own personal experience of mental illness.”Double Bind” was by far the most notable contribution of the Bateson Research Group at Palo Alto, which apart from the originality of its approach to pathology of communication, gave the English language a new phrase. A many-level approach continued at the MRI in Palo Alto after Bateson left his research team and can still be found today among those favoring a non-medical, alternative approach to schizophrenia, represented in a movement called “mad pride.”

Keywords:   double bind, logical typing, R.D. Laing, Humberto Maturana, Bertrand Russell, schizophrenia, second-order cybernetics, transcontextuality

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