RE: MD Pure experience and the Kantian problematic

From: Paul Turner (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2005 - 19:54:28 GMT

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    Scott, all

    I'm really short on time at the moment but intend to reply to all the
    lengthy posts addressed to me. This one, however, is nice and concise
    and thus lends itself to a concise response.

    Scott said:
    The MOQ differs from Kant in that it does not assume that the conceptual
    structure is fixed and necessary, but keeps the idea that it is
    structure (static intellectual patterns of value) that cuts us off from
    reality (DQ).

    No, the MOQ states that static patterns block the direct perception of
    DQ and are deduced from the primary undifferentiated experience of DQ,
    but it does not claim that static patterns aren't real. This seems to be
    a common misconception, caused, I think, by the attempt to identify
    Pirsig with this and that philosophy.

    From the Copleston annotations:

    "Reality for Bradley is one. The splintering of reality into finite
    things connected by relations belongs to the sphere of appearance.

    [Which the MOQ calls "static patterns of value." The word "appearance"
    seems to suggest these static patterns are unreal. The MOQ does not make
    this suggestion.]

    But to say of something that it is appearance is not to deny that it
    exists. 'What appears, for that sole reason, most indubitably is; and
    there is no possibility of conjuring its being away from it.' Further,
    inasmuch as they exist, appearances must be comprised within reality;
    they are real appearances.

    [Here he comes close to an oxymoron. "Appearance" is a poor word for
    reality.]" [Pirsig comments in CAPS]

    "As for evil in the sense of pain and suffering, Bradley suggests that
    it does not exist, as such, in the infinite act of experience which
    constitutes the Absolute. The possibility of this can be verified to
    some extent within the field of our own experience, by the way in which
    a small pain can be swallowed up, as it were, or neutralized by an
    intense pleasure. This suggestion is hardly a source of much consolation
    to the finite sufferer; but Bradley is understandably unwilling to
    envisage the Absolute as undergoing pain.

    [In the MOQ pain is negative biological quality, and is not considered
    to be mere "Appearance."]"[Pirsig in CAPS]

    Scott said:
    The MOQ claim that DQ is "pre-intellectual" is a Kantian pattern.

    No it isn't, Kant maintains that pre-intellectual reality (which to him
    means things-in-themselves which is also not the same as Pirsig) is
    something we cannot experience. DQ *is* experience. This is yet another
    misdirected attempt to pin the MOQ down as Kantian.

    The main conceptual structure that produces non-real appearances is the
    subject/object form.

    Again, "non-real appearances" is your addition to the MOQ.

    Scott said:
    Hence the MOQ includes both types of A/R distinction, the Kantian and
    mystical. That is, it advocates a mystical program of putting
    SPOV to sleep in order to experience reality.

    In order to directly experience Dynamic Quality.

    Scott said:
    So in this means of getting back into touch with reality, it also
    reinforces the Kantian duality between the conceptual and reality. As
    James, and most philosophies of mysticism have done since Kant.

    In the MOQ, the distinction is between conceptualised reality (forms)
    and non-conceptualised reality (formlessness).



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