From: Wim Nusselder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun May 18 2003 - 22:34:24 BST
Part 3 of my reply to your essay
(http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/elizaphanian/Eudaimonic-moq.htm) 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.
A CHOOSING UNIT
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':
'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
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,
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