RE: MD Irrationality

From: Matt the Enraged Endorphin (
Date: Sat Sep 28 2002 - 23:22:44 BST

Platt, Erin, Sam, all (the conversation's getting bigger ;-),

>You and Matt are doing a really good job at exploring
>these ideas.
>While doing this can you please stop putting yourself
>as the voice of Pirsig though.

I think Erin has a point, but acting as the voice of Pirsig doesn't bug me
anymore. Whenever I read statements that sound like this, they are
instantly translated into the form, "I think Pirsig is saying this...." and
I suggest everyone do the same thing, particularly if I slip into that voice.

I don't want to be too "personally attacking" here, but I think the
penchant for acting as the voice of Pirsig that many conversants in the MD
display is a reflection of their belief that there is a True reading of
Pirsig that can and will be someday explicated. I, however, don't believe
this. So I take such statements as short-hand for that position on
interpretation. And this position is a part of their philosophical
position. I take it as an emblem they wear. I think they are wrong, but I
merely think they are being consistent by arguing over the True philosophy
of Pirsig on behalf of Pirsig.

This is why Bo and now Platt (and probably any number of others) are so at
odds with my interpretation of Pirsig. The consequence of our differences
is a "redescription war," the kind you might find in one of Plato's
dialogues. I even predicted such a consequence in the original
"Confessions" post. But this is not to say that a fight over descriptions
are not fruitful. In my opinion, Bo and I had a fruitful redescription war
and I think Platt and I are about to have one. The fruits of such a war
are the explicating of the others position, about what is at stake if you
take one or the other's position.

So, when I redescribe Platt's statement, "I side with Pirsig. Where do you
come down?" as the redundant statement, "I side with my interpretation of
Pirsig..." and Platt comes back (presumably), unphased, and simply
redescribes it back to "I side with Pirsig" (and comes back with textual
support in aid of his True interpretation, as he has on many occasions), I
take it all in stride, as just one of several philosophical positions we do
not agree on, and then I redecribe it back again.


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