Our Own Metaphor: A Personal Account of a Conference on the Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation

Publisher summary

Our Own Metaphor, with its focus on the human pattern of setting conscious goals, provides a new approach to the basic question of whether humans, with their increasingly powerful technologies, will ultimately destroy the environment on which they depend or prove capable of a new level of adaptation. Based on a conference organized by anthropologist Gregory Bateson and observed and interpreted by Mary Catherine Bateson, the book suggests that any solution to the world's myriad problems must be grounded in an empathetic understanding of systems--from the ecology of lakes to the loving interdependence of mother and infant.

This volume was first published in 1972. A foreword and afterword were added in 1991 in which Mary Catherine Bateson reflects on experience and insight accrued over the intervening years, carrying the central themes forward into the 21st century.


Mary Catherine Bateson