Ecosystemic epistemology: critical implications for the aesthetics and pragmatics of family therapy

Fam Process. 1982 Mar;21(1):1-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.1982.00001.x.


This paper proposes that family therapy be responsive to both aesthetic and pragmatic considerations. Ecosystemic epistemology, a framework of ideas based on cybernetics, ecology, and systems theory, is suggested as a way of encompassing these different perspectives. Several critical ideas, often ignored by an overemphasis on pragmatics, involve: (a) the function of language in the relation between epistemology and clinical practice; (b) healthy and pathological family ecologies; (c) art and technique in therapy; and (d) the issue of manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Art
  • Cybernetics
  • Esthetics
  • Family
  • Family Health
  • Family Therapy* / education
  • Family Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Models, Psychological
  • Philosophy
  • Social Environment
  • Systems Theory