Re: MD levels

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Nov 07 2002 - 16:51:21 GMT

  • Next message: jhmau: "Re: MD levels"

    Hi Wim:
    > As 'Pirsig does equate "consciousness" with the intellectual level' (Sam
    > 6/11 8:07 -0000) I do NOT like Platt's addition (5/11 16:32 -0500) to the
    > MoQ 'to claim that the levels represent increasing levels of awareness
    > (consciousness)'. Platt's addition implies that 'consciousness' is a
    > phenomenon that operates across levels that can be used to compare all
    > levels. Pirsig's equation of 'consciousness' with ONLY the intellectual
    > level implies that it does NOT operate on the lower levels and can only be
    > used to compare the intellectual level with all other levels taken
    > together.

    Here's the note from Pirsig in Lila's Child that Sam may have referred to:

    "Since the MOQ states that consciousness (i.e. intellectual patterns) is
    the collection and manipulation of symbols, created in the brain, that
    stand for patterns of experience, then artificial intelligence would be the
    collection and manipulation of symbols, created in a machine, that
    stand for patterns of experience. If one agrees that experience exists at
    the inorganic level, then it is clear that computers already have artificial
    intelligence. A question arises if the term "consciousness" is expanded
    to mean "intuition" or "mystic awareness." Then computers are shut
    out by the fact that static patterns do not create Dynamic quality or
    respond to it."

    The meaning of "consciousness" is flexible, as Pirsig indicates. What I
    meant to convey, as Pirsig does, is that experience exists at all levels. I
    take this to mean that awareness exists at all levels. Further, I believe
    that awareness expands with each succeeding level, a point I made in
    my "Principles of the MoQ" which Pirsig sanctioned.

    A major factor that distinguishes the intellectual level from those below
    is the "emergence" of self-awareness at that level. Perhaps you
    associate "consciousness" with "self-consciousness," an attribute of
    humans alone (or so most believe). If so, you restriction of
    consciousness thus defined to the intellectual level would be correct.

    But I could be wrong.


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