From: Platt Holden (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Nov 17 2002 - 21:47:32 GMT
Hi David, All:
> Platt said:
> 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?
> DMB says:
> No. In the book, he describes Lila as dynamic in spite of the fact that she
> is devoid of intellectual patterns.
Come now. He doesn't say she's "devoid" of intellectual patterns. He
"Biologically she's fine, socially she's pretty far down the scale,
intellectually she's nowhere." (13)
He's speaking here in relative terms, not absolutes. Besides, if Lila were
devoid of intellectual patterns, she couldn't think. In Lila's Child, Pirsig
"Intellect is simply thinking, and one can think without involving the
> But the higher levels are more capable
> of responding than are the lower one's. I believe there's a quote where
> Pirsig describes the increasing "freedom and complexity" as static patterns
> evolve. And certainly it would take a human to be creative on the social
> and intellectual levels, but surely every animal can respond to DQ on a
> biological level. Sex and such. To a greater or lesser degree all static
> patterns at all levels can respond to DQ.
My interpretation of sex and such is that they were all Dynamic
responses that happened in the past but are now simply repetitions of
firmly ensconced static (unchanging) patterns of behavior. Admittedly,
Pirsig isn't absolutely clear on this question. That's why I raised it.
Again, a passage from Lila's Child appears to confirm the view that only
humans can respond to DQ:
"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."
If intuition and mystical awareness as well as intellect are required to
respond to DQ, then only humans are eligible.
Then there's the famous passage in Lila regarding capital punishment
where Pirsig says it's wrong for society to kill someone who is not a
threat to social patterns because he, as a "living being" is capable of
responding to DQ and thus might change society for the better.
Whether a "living being" is restricted to mean "human being" is not
clear, but in that context it would seem so.
Anyway, the issue is debatable, and I wonder what others think. Can
lower patterns respond to DQ to create something better or just a
collection of patterns able to think like us?
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