RE: MD Individuality

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sun Nov 17 2002 - 15:53:05 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "RE: MD Individuality"

    Hi David, Matt, All:

    > Pirsig writes (again in Lila's Child): "I believe there are a number of
    > philosophic systems, notably Ayn Rand's "Objectivism," that call the "I" or
    > "individual" the central reality. Buddhists say it is an illusion. So do
    > scientists."

    Pirsig continues the above with these words:

    "The MOQ says it is a collection of static patterns capable of
    apprehending Dynamic Quality. I think that if you identify the "I" with
    the intellect and nothing else you are taking an unusual position that
    may need some defending."

    This raises a question I haven't found Pirsig answering directly: Does an
    organism need an intellectual pattern in its "collection" in order to be
    capable of responding to DQ? Or in plain English: "Can only humans
    respond to DQ?

    If the answer to the latter question is Yes, then "I" is dependent on the
    intellectual pattern having evolved, making the association of the
    individual with the intellectual level logically sound.

    As for Ayn Rand, while she denies the existence of society, the theme
    of her books like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is the struggle
    between intellectual and social value patterns--the social pattern of
    sacrifice for the benefit of others vs. the intellectual pattern of freedom to
    pursue one's own ends.

    I'm not arguing for or against Rand's philosophy, nor is it appropriate to
    do so on this site. I'm merely pointing out the usefulness of the MoQ in
    understanding thematic conflicts in literature, as in so many other


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