RE: MD food for thought

From: Erin Noonan (
Date: Sat Sep 07 2002 - 18:36:57 BST

I was thinking about the many---division but I was thinking
that it reminded me of the SOM and MOQ.
I had this image of microscope where turning into one direction
got this MOQ view and turning it in the other a SOM view.
Personally the attraction of MOQ is that it is a simple framework
that encompasses everything. On the other hand SOM seems better
at fine-tuning and details.
Like the microscope if I want a overall view I would turn the knob
toward the MOQ but if I want a detailed but partial view I would
turn the knob toward SOM.
I guess I have been questioning whether the image of SOM and MOQ
should be separate knobs or just turns of a knob in separate directions.


>Real quick,
>isn't the many <-->one division the same as intellectual <--> social?
>On Friday, September 6, 2002, at 09:27 PM, Scott R wrote:
>> Wim,
>> Wim Nusselder wrote:
>>> Dear Scott,
>>> You wrote 5/9 22:59 +0000 about a big gaping hole in the MoQ, but it
>>> is not
>>> clear to me what that hole is according to you.
>>> What do you mean with 'Pirsig ignoring the many/one problem'?
>>> Maybe Pirsig ignored consciousness, but is that a problem? Maybe we
>>> don't
>>> need it?
>> I think we need it, but that may be that it was in trying to imagine
>> how a computer could be conscious, I realized that it logically could
>> not, because every event in a computer is separated spatially and/or
>> temporally from every event, so there is no way that two or more or a
>> million events could be grasped as a whole. For the same reason, a
>> brain, considered as a spatio-temporal object could not be conscious
>> either. From this I realized that the basic problem was SOM, the
>> belief that reality consists of subjects being aware of objects (or
>> its materialist and Berkeleyan idealist variants). My answer to the
>> question of consciousness is that it is backwards: that consciousness
>> must be presupposed, and everything else explained as products of
>> consciousness. It isn't that big a leap from this to the MOQ, to
>> explain everything else in terms of Quality, but only if the two are
>> considered alternate names. If we don't do that, then we still have to
>> explain where consciousness comes from.
>>> You know I tend to consider consciousness to be -formulated loosely-
>>> the
>>> difference between social and intellectual patterns of values.
>> I could see self-consciousness to be the difference between social and
>> intellectual patterns, but not consciousness itself (this may be a
>> definitional problem -- I use the word consciousness to include animal
>> consciousness at a minimum).
>> A better way
>>> for me to explain phenomena usually associated with consciousness, its
>>> content or the lack of it is to describe intellectual patterns of
>>> values as
>>> patterns of motivations for human activity and to describe social
>>> patterns
>>> of values as patterns of behavior that can be acquired and trained.
>>> I was intrigued by the idea you derive from Plato/Kuhlewind that
>>> 'ideas
>>> think through me'.
>>> Could we say
>>> - that intellectual patterns of values motivate our actions through
>>> us,
>>> - that social patterns of values guide (not determine) part of our
>>> behavior,
>>> - that biological patterns of values guide another ('hard-wired')
>>> part of
>>> our behavior and
>>> - that inorganic patterns of values guide the rest of our behavior as
>>> mass
>>> and energy possessing entities?
>> I think this makes sense. Steiner (in "The Philosophy of Freedom")
>> differentiates between what he calls (in translation from German)
>> "driving forces" and "motives", where the latter are intellectual
>> patterns and the former emotional/social, and that it is only when our
>> actions are a result of motives that we are free. However, if I have
>> interpreted him correctly, it takes a "pure" intellectual pattern to
>> qualify as a motive, which is rare.
>>> What makes you say that 'the ego is basically a social construct'
>>> rather
>>> than a construct of intellectual patterns of values (as I would say)?
>>> I'd
>>> say that social patterns of values only create differentiation of
>>> roles, but
>>> don't break the identification of humans with the group they are part
>>> of.
>> I see the ego as being created in reaction to "the other", mainly
>> other persons. Maine de Barre (if I remember correctly) called the ego
>> a set of resistances, which is to say, the ego only exists in relation
>> to the non-ego, as fear of the other, or as desire of the other, or as
>> thinking *about* the other (rather than a transcendent "thinking as
>> identity*). There is also the mimetic theory of Rene Girard (which I
>> have only read about, not directly), that we acquire our desires in
>> imitation of others' desires.
>>> I am wondering what you want with the
>>> Kuhlewindian/Barfieldian/Steinerian
>>> distinction between change in consciousness from 'outside' and from
>>> 'inside'? That distinction becomes totally meaningless to me if I try
>>> to
>>> translate it to my concept of consciousness as the difference between
>>> intellectual and social patterns of values. I find it hard to square
>>> you
>>> making this distinction with your earlier objections against Gary's
>>> internal/external (metaphysical) distinction.
>> The characterization "outside/inside" is the SOT way of putting it,
>> the only one available to us. By "outside" is just meant that humanity
>> evolved to the current stage through whatever means (I, following
>> K/B/S, say those means were basically spiritual, a materialist would
>> say, they were adaptations to the environment), while "inside" means
>> we -- since we are now self-conscious and aware of the changeability
>> of our consciousness, are now responsible for subsequent change.
>> My disagreement with Gary is that he takes matter/energy as
>> fundamental, and is looking to explain consciousness in terms of
>> matter (neural processes), something I consider impossible. To me, the
>> belief in independently existing matter/energy is a belief that only
>> can exist in our current, transitory stage of consciousness. I don't
>> deny that in this current stage our experience comes in the pattern
>> inside/outside.
>>> Maybe you are referring to another type of consciousness that is more
>>> than
>>> or beyond being the difference between intellectual and social
>>> patterns of
>>> values because it reaches 'up' to DQ? Maybe DQ doesn't so much operate
>>> 'through us'/through 'ego' (as static patterns of values do), but
>>> rather
>>> 'becomes our identity' if we concentrate on 'immediate experience'?
>> I think I am (see above). Also, I think the ego has the result of
>> filtering out DQ (see my post to John B). DQ is there, or we wouldn't
>> be experiencing anything (recall my post a while back that all
>> experience is (non-)characterized with the logic of contradictory
>> identity of the DQ/sq polarity, but that production is subconscious,
>> and all we are conscious of is the resulting sq.)
>> I would also quibble that we cannot "concentrate on immediate
>> experience". We can only let go, and so rediscover that the true "I"
>> that the ego masks is DQ.
>> - Scott
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