Toward an Aesthetic Epistemology – Slideshow Overview

In February 2014 I successfully defended my PhD dissertation, titled "Toward an Aesthetic Epistemology: Transforming Thinking through Cybernetic Epistemology and Anthroposophy." The following is the abstract and a slideshow presentation that pulls out the crux of my arguments. Abstract The complexity, subtlety, interlinking, and scale of many problems faced individually and collectively in today’s rapidly changing world...

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Embracing the paradox of Being: A relational view of epistemology, ontology, logic and difference.

Let’s get right to it, shall we? With respect to ontology, let us say that there is no “it,” no independent reality that is exclusive of the observer.  This is a basic insight from second-order cybernetics: the observer must always be included in the observed.  Despite this, of course, we do have much talk and...

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First and Second-Order Epistemologies

Gregory Bateson (1991) famously said that we “cannot claim to have no epistemology. Those who so claim have nothing but a bad epistemology” (p. 178).  Bateson is calling for self-reflection in our epistemology.  He wants it to be recursive, so that in our production of knowledge we do not delude ourselves into thinking that...

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Observing the Observer: Exploring a Cybernetic Epistemological Recursion

All epistemologies are observer-dependent; i.e. there is no single epistemology that applies to all possible observers, because every observer is unique in some way.  The necessary inclusion of the observer in any description of the world is a deeply obvious and yet profound principle.  It was neatly expressed in Heinz von Foerster’s article Cybernetics...

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Patterns in Process: Transdisciplinarity as a Background for Working with the Elemental Cycle of Transformation

Abstract This essay outlines connections between the Elemental Cycle as an archetype of transformation, transdisciplinarity, and  cybernetics.  A number of questions are addressed: the nature and importance of connecting these fields, an examination of resources and the dominant disciplinary discourses for the associated fields, and a critical examination of my assumptions, beliefs, and position. Introduction How often...

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Notes on the roots of epistemology in recursion

There is a necessary recursion at the very heart of epistemology. Epistemology can never be founded upon a principle of linearity, where thinking traces its origin to something that lies before thinking, and somehow emerges or grows out of it, because the very existence of this "before", whatever its nature, must always be assumed...

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A Theoretical Beginning

Every moment of transformation enacts an epistemology.  Part of what it means to be human is to have the potential to awaken to this fact, and more: to recognize that the recognition of the inescapable relation between action and epistemology leads to the unfolding of a life-long quest and question: how do I know?...

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