From: Mark Steven Heyman (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 01 2004 - 16:39:30 GMT
On 1 Nov 2004 at 9:41, Platt Holden wrote:
> msh says:
> As soon as you say that Quality has preferences, (if you mean it
> literally, not poetically), you've already personified Quality.
> Well only if you think of all agency in terms of persons.
> Pirsig makes us ask questions like do electrons prefer certain
> states in atoms? I suspect this makes you uncomfortable. If there
> no agency in the emergence of static patterns for you then are you
> not just a mechanist? Without prefererence there is no quality I
> would suggest.
As I've said elsewhere, many times, I have no problem at all in
saying that electrons choose to behave in a certain way, no more than
saying that rocks choose to slide down an incline, or that the moon
chooses to revolve around the earth. All of these are attempts to
describe experience, and none of them is less valid than saying that
gravity or weak or strong nuclear forces are involved.
My idea is that there are plenty of preferences, but that Quality
itself does not have preferences. Our apprehension of Quality is
what allows us sacks of SQ patterns to make good or bad choices and
evolve, or not. Think of the Standard Meter laid out in Paris (is it
still there? I guess we now use wave lengths and atomic clocks to
invoke the standard). Anyway, that iron bar doesn't go around
measuring things for us, we measure things with IT.
If it is only an analogy, like saying the Sun "gives" life, then
there is zero reason for the MOQ.
Not sure I follow this. There is no reason for any metaphysics,
except in the sense that we might PREFER one or another because we
find it VALUABLE in describing our experience of the world around us.
One might as well be a materialist and say that quality just means
that at some point in evolution, some entities developed that like
some things better than others.
Well DavidM calls me a mechanic (determinist?), and you say I'm a
materialist; since I don't see myself as a good match for either
label, I MUST be on to something. To me, it's undeniable that
Quality exists. I just think it's badly confused to say that Quality
has preferences or makes choices. Just as I don't understand what
you mean when you say we need to think of Quality as a verb not a
noun. I think the idea of a nounless verb is unintelligible. But
maybe this is due to my arrested intellectual evolution.
Unless there is real perceiving and preferring ...
Since I don't deny that there is plenty of perceiving and preferring,
only that Quality itself doesn't perceive or prefer, I don't need to
respond to the rest of your post.
Exactly. If Pirsig had meant the terms in question to be poetic he
would have written a poem. Everyday prose, which Pirsig is thankfully
partial to, constantly uses metaphorical expressions to promote
In saying Quality has preferences, Pirsig isn't being "poetic,"
(meaning writing just for emotional effect), but instead is
describing reality according to his empirically-based intellectual
philosophy. This is made clear in many passages from Lila but perhaps
none more so than the following:
Metaphor is poetry. If your understanding of poetry is that it is
"writing just for emotional effect", and that it must be broken up
into short lines that rhyme, then your understanding of poetry is
next to non-existent.
As for the Lila passage you offer, thanks. I agree completely with
the ideas presented there. Notice he nowhere says that Quality
itself PREFERS or CHOOSES. Instead, he suggests that we sacks of SQ
value patterns make choices in RESPONSE to quality.
Best to all,
Mark Steven Heyman (msh)
-- InfoPro Consulting - The Professional Information Processors Custom Software Solutions for Windows, PDAs, and the Web Since 1983 Web Site: http://www.infoproconsulting.com "Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything." -- Henri Poincare' MOQ.ORG - http://www.moq.org Mail Archives: Aug '98 - Oct '02 - http://alt.venus.co.uk/hypermail/moq_discuss/ Nov '02 Onward - http://www.venus.co.uk/hypermail/moq_discuss/summary.html MD Queries - firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at: http://www.moq.org/md/subscribe.html
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Nov 01 2004 - 16:45:15 GMT