Thomas, Bo, Squonk, Wim, 3WDave (in order of appearance), and everyone
THOMAS was right:
« We all know that terrible reply of someone in a discussion, "but that's
only YOUR opinion". very well suited to kill any meaningful discourse.»
I suggested to remove that "only" to beginning a meaningful debate.
"That's your opinion", I wrote, is a good starting point. Sadly, I've been
recently victim of such a rhetoric trap. I found a sentence from Bo about
the Sophists (offered as support of his SOL interpretation), to say
the least, incorrect. I posted my viewpoint in a "defence of the Sophist"
message last 29 August [for those who have missed it, it appears as coming
from Horse]. Then, Bo and I had a short discussion. And in the end Bo has
concluded the whole thing with these sentences:
« ... other interpretation can be arrived at, but at this list we are
supposed to take P's interpretation as the starting point because it is
firmly linked to the MOQ. This or that philosopher may have been mentioned
or left out, but we must limit ourselves. I have read your comments on the
roles that Socrates and Plato may have had and it's very educating, but I
want to go to the nucleus of our debate.»
This sounds to me like the Thomas' example above. My view of the Greek story
was not in my opinion in contrast with Pirsig's... just a bit more deep, and
anyway incompatible with Bo's take on the Sophists. Alas, Bo offers all that
as just my interpretation, "educating" (thanks!) but not relevant as, in
we have to stick to Pirsig (I'll remember this point below.....). Of course,
given this premise, the conclusion was necessarily this one:
« OK let's not get sidetracked. This dispute is settled. You don't agree
with the SOL-interpretation of the MOQ. »
So, Bo, this was our dispute? I didn't know, sorry. After all, I think it
was already clear that I don't agree with your "SOL-interpretation" (aka
SOLAQI). I was simply defending the Sophists from your distorted (in my
opinion) view. Now, before than Squonk takes my words as an excuse to cast
Bo in the ocean as food for sharks, let me say that this and other
discussions with Bo have often the positive outcome to suggest me some
In that thread, Bo takes from ZAMM the split of "Classic Quality" into
"Subjects" and "Objects" as another support to his interpretation.
My reply was:
« in Lila,Pirsig clearly states that the classic/romantic was not the best
split. So [...] I think that we can well say that the subject/object split
of "classic quality" as depicted in the ZAMM table was not the best split
too. [...] I think there are better "splits".... that don't leave out of
intellect art, mysticism, eastern thought, emotional intelligence and so
on.... I call all that "intellect" as they all share the same basic purpose:
to know. »
At that moment, it was not clear into my mind which "split" of the
intellectual static level of the MOQ is better. Now I have come to a
conclusion I want to share.
First, as Bo says we have to stick to Pirsig, I start from this "official"
definition of Q-Intellect:
«The blocks are organized in the order of evolution, with each higher block
more recent and more Dynamic than the lower ones. The block at the top
contains such static intellectual patterns as theology, science, philosophy,
Pirsig offers here a clear list of intellectual patterns. He does not say
that nothing else is within intellect. Actually, that "such... as" sounds as
a non-exhaustive list. Many here know that my "interpretation" of the MOQ
puts here also art, self-consciousness, and more. We can say that my "block"
is more inclusive than the official from SODAV. Similarly, I'd say for
example that Bo's interpretation is not an heresy: it is just less
inclusive: if Q-Intellect *is* the S/O split, well, all the theologists,
scientists, philosophers and mathematicians that have never been influenced
by Parmenides, Plato and Aristotle are not intellectual.... Bo's problem,
In short, feel free to put in your block all that you wish. But then, once
is done, how do we classify the patterns? How can we *analyze* intellect?
«In any hierarchy of metaphysical classification the most important division
is the first one...»
(Lila, ch. 9)
Many divisions are possible: "Objective" thinkers vs "Subjective"
thinkers. "Idealists" vs "Materialists" seems good also. Maybe Bo can be
satisfied. I can't, as the MOQ itself would be a platypus in this
classification. So I firstly tried with "Truth seekers" versus "Good
seekers". Why not, after all it allows to put on one side, for example,
monotheisms and SOM science; and, on the other side, the Sophists,
Pirsig, James... But immediately I found there was something wrong.
This way, I get Galileo together with the Church on the "T" side. And Plato
with Pirsig on the "G" side... hmmm... and anyway, what is good this split
for? Who is the bad guy? The G seeker or the T seeker? A MOQer would say the
T seeker, but, sorry, I can't see Galileo as a bad guy. His quest for an
objective truth has nothing wrong, given his times.
So I realized that I need another classification. Something that is possible
only in a MOQ context.
«The intellect's evolutionary purpose has never been to discover an
ultimate meaning of the universe. That is a relatively recent fad.
Therefore, to the question, "What is the purpose of all this intellectual
knowledge?" the Metaphysics of Quality answers, "The fundamental
purpose of knowledge is to Dynamically improve and preserve society.
Knowledge has grown away from this historic purpose and become an end in
(Lila ch. 24)
What I read here is the suggestion of analyzing intellect according to a
basic split: "Intellect serving society" vs "Intellect that is not serving
society". Well, I like it. It allows me to find good ideas everywhere.
Galileo was very SOMish, nevertheless he's on the right side in his times.
On the other side, a Nazi scientist, even a great scientist was just an
intellectual who was serving his social context. Religions too can be good
or bad: good if they give the individual a personal insight; bad if they
just claim a blind obeyance of the rules the Church dogmatically supports.
And finally, we can see that everyone, be a scientist, a philosopher, a
priest, an artist.... ancient or modern, will bear ideas that serve society
and ideas that don't serve society. Noone can be purely intellectual. So we
can find that the "founding fathers" were at the same time supporting
freedom and maintaining slavery.... Good or bad? Both, evidently. This
split, in facts, is not made to classify people, but single ideas. The
individual contribution to the advancement of the intellectual level will
depend on the mix of both the tendencies and on the precedence we give to
I think WIM would agree, if I interpret well his words:
«Don't you agree however that the scientists not only defend 'truth', but
also their salaries (which would be lower if they are just seen as aides of
governement or industry or -in the > former Soviet-Union- of the labor
class...) and the social status of their public statements?»
I'd say it is socially good to defend my salary. It is not intellectually
good to falsify an experiment to defend my salary. The salary must be a
consequence of an intellectual "job", not the other way round.
I think a similar split can be applied to society. "Culture serving biology"
vs "Culture not serving biology". Few weeks ago 3WDave, Wim and I agreed on
allowing the "social" status also to other animals. I offered an example of
some Japanese monkeys that developed a complex culture. Anyway, if we agree
that chimps, wolves, ants, bees are social, I'd say that their society is
completely serving biology. The culture that became an end in itself is
That's all, folks! Ciao!
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