RE: MD Looking for the primary difference

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Nov 03 2005 - 14:23:15 GMT

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    This is a resend.

    Hi Ham,

    I see that you're jumping up and down with glee because Michael Hamilton
    has apparently agreed with your take on the "proprietary self." However,
    your happiness is based on a gigantic strawman, namely, that Pirsig
    totally rejects the subject-object view of existence. I hate to pour cold
    water on your sudden euphoria, but the following passage should disabuse
    of the notion that the MOQ rejects SOM out of hand:

    "This may sound as though a purpose of the Metaphysics of Quality is to
    trash all subject-object thought but that's not true. Unlike subject-
    object metaphysics the Metaphysics of Quality does not insist on a single
    exclusive truth. If subjects and objects are held to be the ultimate
    reality then we're permitted only one construction of things-that which
    corresponds to the "objective" world-and all other constructions are
    unreal. But if Quality or excellence is seen as the ultimate reality then
    it becomes possible for more than one set of truths to exist. Then one
    doesn't seek the absolute "Truth." One seeks instead the highest quality
    intellectual explanation of things with the knowledge that if the past is
    any guide to the future this explanation must be taken provisionally; as
    useful until something better comes along. One can then examine
    intellectual realities the same way he examines paintings in an art
    gallery, not to find which one is the "real" painting, but simply to enjoy
    and keep those that are of value. There are many sets of intellectual
    reality in existence and we can perceive some to have more quality than
    others, but that we do so is, in part, the result of our history and
    current patterns of values." (Lila, 8)

    Obviously you judge your "proprietary self" to be an extremely high
    quality concept, a Rembrandt as t'were of ontology. But, just down the row
    of great paintings on the wall is one of my favorites, Velazquez,
    representing Pirsig's MOQ. But see, we're both making value judgments
    based on what we deem to be excellence, giving credence to Pirsig's notion
    that the nucleus of being is Quality.


    > David (and other dedicated 'monists') --
    > In case you haven't seen Michael Hamilton's latest two posts, he's come
    > around to the logical conclusion that subject/object experience is
    > fundamental to existence. And he articulates his epiphany quite
    > brilliantly, I think.
    > > My suggestion is that the subject/object divide is
    > > fundamental to what we are. My suggestion is that,
    > > at the 4th level, Quality manifests itself as separate
    > > intelligences who feel that they are separate.
    > >
    > > Thanks to the likes of Pirsig, we can dream up metaphysics
    > > in which the subject/object divide is not fundamental.
    > > We can spend as long as we like thinking about a time and
    > > a place in which the subject/object divide never existed.
    > > But we're still thinking as subjects, and any attempt to
    > > wipe subjectivity from one's life entirely would be a
    > > regression, not a progression.
    > Of course this is what I've been saying all along. Is any intelligent
    > comparison possible between Mike's clear concept of subjectivity above
    > and David's heirarchical algorythm: "4 levels of SQ + DQ"? Can you
    > honestly consider that a workable definition of the proprietary self --
    > for MoQers or anybody else?
    > Mike has made my day. Need I say more?
    > Ham

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