Edgar H. Auerswald, MD
“What is it you want to buy?” the Sheep said at last, looking up for a moment from her knitting.
“I don 't quite know yet, ” Alice said very gently. “I should like to look all round me first, if I might.”
“You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you like, ” said the Sheep; “but you can't look all round you—unless you 've got eyes at the back of your head.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A dictionary (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1981) definition of epistemology is: “The study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge.” Contemplation in study or theorizing is cognitive, and, too, it is fair to say that the nature and grounds of knowledge are expressed in language, and that language is the expression of cognition. Thus, another way of defining epistemology could be “thinking about thinking.”
Yet another, more concrete, but closely related definition of the word was used by Gregory Bateson and has been appearing in many places in
*This essay was published in Family Process, 10:263-280, 1972. Also in Evolving Models for Family Change, H. Charles Fishman and Bernice Rossman, Eds., Guilford Press, 1986. Presented at Ackerman Family Institute International Conference on Family Therapy, 1980.