Re: MD Maps and metaphors

From: Jonathan B. Marder (
Date: Wed Sep 30 1998 - 23:29:06 BST

Hi Keith, Glen, Magnus, Bo, Platt and Squad,

>At 2:35 PM +0200 9/28/98, Magnus Berg wrote:
[regarding Donny's 4-levels = maps]
>>Yes but doesn't this put the MoQ very close to idealism?
>>It seems to me that the metaphysics behind this position would be
>>something like. "Reality consists of maps and non-maps, but the
>>maps are the only things we can experience first hand. Non-maps
>>are blurred through the maps and aren't reliable".

>Perhaps the MoQ is in some ways close to idealism, but I think your
>metaphysical description is mistaken. The MoQ asserts that the ultimate
>reality, Quality, can be *directly* experienced. However, that
>is a mystical (nonverbal) one. Any utterances about those mystical
>experiences are merely intellectual maps drawn after the fact. It is
>reality (quality) that we experience first hand. The maps are drawn up
>after we've been exploring the world to help us navigate it without
>to relearn everything each time. The reality is crystal clear and
>whenever you open your eyes and the map may or may not be clear (we
>MoQ is clearer than SOM, e.g.), but the correspondence between the map
>the reality is never perfect.

Let me add "memories" (of direct experience) to "utterences". Let me
further state that experience that fails to register in memory is
experience lost. It is not part of our reality or awareness. I don't
know what Magnus's "non-maps" are. I maintain that even Keith's "direct
experience" is a cartography exercise. That's why we don't all
experience exactly the same thing. Both Keith and Magnus are taking a
logical positivist position which maintains that there is an absolute
reality out there waiting to be experienced.

>You don't think that any proof of the "Other Mind's Problem" (in the
>sense of the word proof or know) would be useful? I'd give my eye
teeth for a
>proof of it that I could accept. You seem pretty well versed in the
>philosophers and I thought you would appreciate the question.

Blush! I'm sorry to have mislead you. I confess that I would certainly
fail any "philosophology" test. One reason I dare to post here is
Pirsig's own cavalier attitude to the "names" of philosophy.

>I personally
>don't think there is one, IMHO it's a "mu" question like "When did you
>beating your wife?". Sorry if I offended you. I honestly think all we
are left
>with is "maps and metaphors" (life is to be lived and maps can help)
but to
>confuse the map with the terrain is something I view as religion not
I agree on "mu". That's why I don't think consideration of the "Other
Minds" problem leads to anything useful. But to *distinguish* the maps
from the terrain is also religion (Hinduism) or at least mysticism. The
maps are "Maya" and the terrain "Brahman". MoQ has no Brahman -no
terrain. It's all maps (SQ) which come about by the dynamics of DQ.

BO writes:
>If my memory serves me you made your entry with a piece about language
>as the carrier of intellectual value to a degree that mankind seems
>"...suspended in language" (Niels Bohr) and I am unable to look upon
>language otherwise than subject- (predicate) object orientated.

Language structure predates Greek philosophy probably by several
thousand years. Certainly by Greek times, the major Indo-European
languages were already well diverged, and yet all maintain the
predicate-object structure. I don't see how Greek metaphysics could have
much influenced European languages until the last 2-3 centuries when
these languages began to be used for intellectual purposes. Furthermore,
the predicate-object grammatical structure exists for other
non-Indo-European languages (e.g. Hebrew). I think that the "Subject" of
language is *any* subject-rock, man or computer disk. This concept must
be fairly innate (hard-wired according to Chomsky) for it to be so
widespread between different language groups. On the other hand, the
"Subject" of SOM is the human mind, a concept quite different.

In another post BO wrote:-
>I believe that Jonathan wants to incorporate the whole 'mental
>activity' into his model of the Q-intellect while I maintain that it
>is limited to SO-logic (REASON). 'Mental activity' at the Social
>level is EMOTION and at the Biological level - SENSATION. That way SO
>becomes a Q-stage, no more no less, and solidly incorporated into the

Bo, would you then maintain that Beethoven's contributions to our world
have no intellectual value? How about Einstein vs. Margritte? Does
Albert always prevail, because only he reaches the morally superior
Intellectual plane? If this is SOTAQI, then I regard it as an
anti-Pirsigian viewpoint.

I wanted to conclude this with my reaction too Platt's "Nature of self"
post, but it's late and I'm tired, so I'll leave it till tomorrow.

Good-night all,

homepage -
queries -
unsubscribe - with UNSUBSCRIBE MOQ_DISCUSS in
body of email

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Aug 17 2002 - 16:02:34 BST