Re: MD The Eudaimonic MoQ

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Sun May 18 2003 - 22:34:24 BST

  • Next message: "MD Bowling for Columbine"

    Dear Sam,

    Part 3 of my reply to your essay
    ( as copied to
    the list (by me) in 4 parts 9 Apr 2003 22:33:54 +0200, 9 Apr 2003 22:34:14
    +0200, 10 Apr 2003 22:13:44 +0200 and 10 Apr 2003 22:13:57 +0200.


    The crucial problems for you in the standard account of the MoQ lead you to
    develop your Eudaimonic MoQ appear to be
    1) the 'explanatory gap in the standard account - what is the "choosing
    unit" of the fourth level, the equivalent of the cell or the social unit'
    2) that the standard account of the MoQ cannot clearly distinguish between
    the 3rd and the 4th level if it defines the 4th level as 'collection and
    manipulation of symbols' and the 3rd level as founded by (symbolic)

    I have already argued in part 2 of my reply that the MoQ has no need for
    'choosing units' and a definition of the 3rd level as founded by symbolic
    language doesn't belong in the standard account of the MoQ.

    We can hardly describe patterns of value at any level without distinguishing
    elements that behave similarly or without distinguishing different moments
    in time in which an identifiable unit behaves similarly. That can be
    described as elements/units 'choosing' to behave in that way because of
    values operating on them (as you do), as elements/units 'participating' in
    the pattern that embodies the values of stability and versatility of that
    pattern and probably in even more ways. We should use the way of describing
    patterns of value that is least
    tainted by the subject-object thinking that the MoQ tries to transcend and
    include. All possible descriptions probably are tainted to some extent by
    SOT, but that doesn't imply that subjects valuing some behavior over other
    behavior are necessarily part of the reality we try to describe. The reality
    we try to describe is our experience and the fact that sometimes we do NOT
    experience subject-object (or even subject-subject) differentiation
    indicates (and -if we rule out delusion- proves) that descriptions requiring
    choosing/acting subjects are false.

    It is difficult to square your interpretation of the 3rd level with Pirsig's
    interpretation as expressed in 'Lila's Child':
    You wrote:
    'The social level is the "subjective customs of groups of people". This
    sense of "social" does not apply to anything non-human. The DQ innovation
    and static latch which enabled the social level to come into being was the
    development of language.'
    Pirsig is reported to have written:
    'A social pattern which would be unaware of the next higher level would be
    found among prehistoric people and the higher primates when they exhibit
    social learning that is not genetically hard-wired but yet is not symbolic.'
    Do you really think that your interpretation belongs in the standard account
    of the MoQ?

    You can still argue that 4th level patterns of value (or patterns of ideas
    used by people to motivate their actions) achieve their highest Quality
    (have migrated farthest towards DQ) in the patterns that can be described by
    'wider eudaimonic rules', rules for full human flourishing. But then we are
    talking about the highest possible static latch of the 4th level and not
    about the lowest one, the one that defines the distinction between 3rd and
    4th level.

    I just read in a summary of the history of philosophy that Kierkegaard
    distinguished 3 stages in human development: the esthetical, the ethical and
    the religious stage. You can probably tell me more about them and how they
    relate to 'eudaimonia'? I guess that full human flourishing for you would
    imply having reached the religious stage (the highest one according to
    Kierkegaard)? At what MoQ levels do the esthetical and ethical stages belong
    in an Eudaimonic MoQ?

    (To be continued.)

    With friendly greetings,


    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun May 18 2003 - 22:35:27 BST