Re: MD TV screens and glass houses

From: Glen Dickey (
Date: Mon Sep 28 1998 - 06:24:08 BST

Greetings Jonathon, Squad,

Jonathan B. Marder wrote:
> Let me first state that the whole of MoQ (or any other metaphysics) is a
> pattern of the intellectual level which it contains. This is what gives
> the intellectual level special status. There is an inherent recursion.

While you can use the intellectual level to construct a map of reality, the map
is never the reality. The MoQ doesn't contain reality, it's a useful analogy or
metaphor. A Word Hoard of the World isn't the same as World. (possibly an
Anglo-Saxon proverb). I have always thought that there is fundamental
discontinuity between the way we describe or model reality and the reality we
exist in. There is no description for reality that is reality. Isn't this what
Pirsig so deftly defends against Plato? It's an analogy, a metaphor, perhaps a
good one, perhaps a useful one , but while it may be a pattern constructed
within the intellectual level it will never contain reality. While you may
describe the color Red to someone who has never known it, do they really have
the experience of the color Red? No they do not. Most people that have
experiemented with highly altered states of consiousness understand the futility
of trying to describe what it was like to someone who hasn't had the same
experience. It's pointless, it's exactly like describing Red to someone who's
never experienced it. Reality is the conveyor of experience, the intellectual
PoV is the conveyor of maps. Some would fault me for telling them that their
description of reality isn't reality but I don't think Robert Pirsig is one of

I strongly disagree with your recursion analogy. Recursion is used when a
function calls itself. It's a very useful concept in computer programming. Is
recursion logical invalid in my program because it's a function calling itself
in pursuit of an answer? Does it produce an incorrect answer? That a pattern
of reality on the intellectual levels uses tools also constructed from the
intellecual level to desribe the environment or reality seems like a good
classically grounded procedure to me.

Personally i've wondered whether your not looking for a solution of what is
commonly known as the "Other Minds Problem". "How can I know (in the strong
sense of the term know) that anything outside my mind exits?" I don't think
there is a good "classical" solution to this question. If you are looking for a
metaphysics that is reality then I wish you luck but think you will have to
change to find an answer that will satisfy you.


Glen the Mad
King of Potatoes

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