Re: MD bullshit

From: ian glendinning (
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 17:52:03 GMT

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    Platt, 2 comments inserted (belatedly) ... [IG] ...

    On 11/3/05, Platt Holden <> wrote:
    > Hi Ian,
    > [Platt]
    > > Even Pirsig had to split Quality into Dynamic and static to create a
    > > meaningful metaphysics. In fact, I think he said something about the
    > > first cut being the most important one.
    > [Ian]
    > > I think you're close to the core point again ...
    > > To me it's no accident he chose "quality" as the thing to split with
    > > his first cut.
    > >
    > > It's very telling that we carefully avoid the word "concept" when
    > > describing quality (at least when Mark's listening), and more
    > > importantly the fact that quality remained a very nebulous / ephemeral /
    > > intangible thing throughout Pirsig's development of his ideas. He chose
    > > quality as his central idea and the location of his first cut, in direct
    > > opposition to the traditional tangible split of subject and object. If we
    > > ever pin down quality with a concrete definition we'll re-introduce the
    > > problem of casting the separation in stone again.
    > I'm not so sure the subject object split is tangible. I would ask: What is
    > being divided by the subject/object division?

    [IG] Me neither - I was saying this was traditionally seen as tangible.

    > > As it is, with a the nebulous quality, and a dynamic / static split
    > > which is similarly nebulous - how slow / fast stable / unstable do you have
    > > to be dynamic or static - we'll never have that problem.
    > There are plenty of other nebulous concepts like "love," "beauty,"
    > "pornography" that cannot be defined, not to mention all qualia such as
    > the taste of watermelon. So I'm not sure that Quality is unique or special
    > in that regard. But, perhaps I missed your point.

    [IG] Again, I'm with you. Long may they remain nebulous and, like
    Quality, forever real.

    > > BTW - when I said ontologies are our invention I did not intend to
    > > imply they were an unnecessary invention. Thought is pretty
    > > constrained without language to communicate it. I agree.
    > The complex symbol system represented in language seems to be a
    > particularly human skill, a skill that separates the intellectual level
    > from the social level where grunts, whistles and gestures plus sheer
    > dependence were sufficient to bind individuals to a social group. Thus, it
    > was pretty much a "we" world before the blossoming of language . With
    > language and intellect came release from the static "we" with the
    > emergence of the dynamic symbol "I." Coincident with that release arouse
    > the concept of freedom -- the highest good -- a concept still struggling
    > to gain recognition against social level "we" pressures.
    > Platt

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