English Abstract & Article Info

Ecology of mind and Dialectics: thoughts for a sustainable development


.Thesis on “Environmental Psychology”.

Tunnel - Mustafa Karaagac

Article Info:

University of Studies, Parma;

Discussed and accepted: 10 February 2009;

Available online: 25 October 2009;

Link: https://dialecticaloutlook.wordpress.com/ecologia-della-mente-e-dialettica/

Key Words:

Dialectical materialism;

Ecology of mind;

Teaching and learning;


Paradigm of complexity;

Pathologies of epistemology;

Co-evolution in a con-text;

Theory and practice;


1) “Conditions” – The Threshold

2) Pathologies of epistemology and linear thinking. The system-Mind and Nature

3) “Ecology thinking” and dialectical evolution: a sustainable combination?

4) What next? Evolutive skills, ecology of mind, and a revolutionary alternative?


[Objective] The article tries to outline a parallelism and to describe the dialectical relations between the Environmental Psychology perspective, on the basis of Gregory Bateson’s works on the Ecology of mind, and the marxist perspective both in the social sciences, as in natural ones; the field of activity is human education, from an interactive and cooperative point of view, and the social contradictions of this kind of educational outlook. So, a political perspective is required, and an analysis of the forms of thought produced by the social development as well. [Methods] To carry out this purpose, a heterogeneous bibliography composed by academic psychology texts, marxist articles and books on dialectical materialism and sciences, and specific contributions within the field of the ecology of mind as well, sets the conditions for comparative research about the meeting points of the disciplines, underlining how different contributions converge to produce a more complete view of the topic of interest. [Results] This kind of analysis outlines the need to overcome the linear forms of thought, which have set the conditions for a degeneration both in the ecology of mind, as well as a sustainable development; the dialectical materialism offers a new perspective in this field, using the dialectical logic as a higher and deeper form of analysis, because it considers reality as in motion and, necessarily, contradictory. This perspective finds interesting fields of application and study into human sciences, and in natural ones as well; moreover, it endows the ecology of mind with a great adherence to reality, to historical development of economy and to social struggles as well, linking the psychological point of view to its material basis. It is therefore an interesting convergence which sets the conditions for a more complete survey on reality. [Conclusions and practice implications] This way of considering reality as a dynamic flow which changes, in its most profound, in a non-linear fashion, leads to specific social and educative considerations. Because of the deep relations between school and society, every educative instance finds a meaning, ultimately, in the social and economic structure to which it is related. Because capitalism is a system that relies on the anarchy of free market policies, and on the exploitation of man by man for profit, a real cooperative and co-costructive form of education finds a real contradiction on the material bases which regulate relations between people. A real and complete education, aiming at the development of awareness and co-evolutive skills, necessarily needs a social and economic context based on the fully democratic planning of the whole economy by workers, because this is the only context which could make every man and woman really involved in the dynamics of society; dialectically, a good education can be defined as such, if is based on the critical analysis of reality, if it promotes cooperation instead of competition between students, and if it works at the convergence of theory and practice as well.


Bateson, “Mind and Nature”, Adelphi Edizioni;

Bateson, “Towards an Ecology of Mind”, Adelphi Edizioni;

Bateson: “The humor in human communication”, Cambridge University Press;

Bianciardi: “There is a simple link that would double the double bond?”, Dec. ’08;

Cronen, Johnson, Lannamann “double binds and reflexive circuits, adapted from Family Process Vol.20, March 1982;

Dellavalle: “The urgency Ecological, Baldini Cstoldi Dalai publisher;

Engels: “The development of socialism from utopia to science”, Editorial AC;

Engels: “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”, Newton Compton Editori;

Fornasa “Non-trivial machines”, Bergamo, CESB;

Fornasa, Mario Salomone: “Education and Sustainability”, FrancoAngeli;

Fornasa: “Working for developmental projects to the competence, adapted from http://www.provinz.bz.it;

Gerald G. Marten: “Human Ecology”, published by Environment;

Gould: “This idea of life”, Editori Riuniti;

Lenin, “Complete Works”, Editori Riuniti;

Marx and F. Engels: “The German Ideology”, Einaudi;

Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach”, Einaudi;

Marx, F. Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party”, Einaudi;

Plekhanov, “Selected Works”, Moscow Ed.Progress;

Ross: “Ecology and social forms of co-design”, adapted from http://www.provincia.bergamo.it;

Trotsky: “In Defense of Marxism,” GiovaneTalpa;

Trotsky: “The transition program,” Editorial AC;

Woods, T. Grant: “Reason in Revolt: Marxist Philosophy and Modern Science”, Editorial AC;