Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009


In the process of writing my academic memoirs spanning a period of more than thirty-five years, I discovered how crucial the work of Gregory Bateson had been to my life as a teacher, a scholar, and a relational partner. In this paper I celebrate Bateson's charming and incisive ideas about how communication works, his deep reservations about the worship of quantification, and his astute analysis of what is at stake when we make epistemological errors in everyday life. Reviewing a turning point in my academic life—a conference held in 1979, I reaffirm the importance of warm ideas and provide a story that illustrates the potentially monstrous consequences of epistemological error.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Review of Qualitative Research, v. 2, issue 3, p. 357-370

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Published as International Review of Qualitative Research, Vol. 2 No. 3, Fall 2009; (pp. 357-370). © 2009 by the Regents of the University of California/Sponsoring Society or Association. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by [the Regents of the University of California/on behalf of the Sponsoring Society] for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.