From: Wim Nusselder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 05 2003 - 21:44:33 BST
You wrote 30 Aug 2003 18:09:24 +0100:
'I think I'd prefer "pattern of experience" to "scale of values" as well.
What I do think the MoQ says, is that the various patterns can be aggregated
and sorted according to a scale of Quality. There is a distinction between
that scale of value and the patterns themselves.
Perhaps we could talk about a "scale of Quality" to refer to the four
levels, to avoid that confusion?'
Very good. So we agree (to the extent that you are sure about it), that a
'pattern of value' is to be understood as a 'pattern of experience' rather
than as a 'scale of values'.
According to Pirsig 'All life is a migration of static patterns of quality
toward Dynamic Quality'. ('Lila' ch. 11) That seems to mean that those
'patterns of experience' can at least be graded on the scale of how near
are to DQ or how dynamic they are. Is that what you mean with 'a "scale of
Quality" to refer to the four levels'?
That leaves to be clarified whether ALL 'patterns of value' of a level
occupy the same spot on this scale or whether the 'patterns of value' of the
same level can also be graded this way.
So I do not disagree that there are higher and lower levels. I don't see how
such disagreement is a logical implication of my argument. As you have by
now (more or less) conceded that a 'pattern of value' is a 'pattern of
experience' rather than a 'scale of values', your earlier argument that the
laws of physics describe the values of the inorganic level, the laws of
Darwinian evolution describe the values of the biological level etc. should
be rephrased as these 'laws' describing the 'patterns' of these levels.
'the Quality/experience first has to create a subject and an object before
the subject can judge the stability, versatility and harmony of the pattern
'That I think is where we may differ. To my mind the reaction is already a
I don't understand what you mean. What reaction is already a value?
The point was, whether 'value' should be understood as 'value judgement'.
Not the Quality/experience that is supposed to precede distinguishing
subjects and objects, I argued.
'"An amoebae fleeing acid" can be seen as a pure MoQ description of a
pattern: a pattern that connects movements of the amoebae and rises in
acidity of its immediate surroundings. "An amoebae experiencing acidity and
consequently fleeing it" is a way of describing that requires SOM.'
'What I think is required is simply an intellect performing an observation
of the phenomenon in hand.
It doesn't require SOM'
My point was, that without SOM, that intellect can only observe "an amoebae
fleeing acid". It requires SOM to describe that observation as "An amoebae
experiencing acidity and consequently fleeing it" (a subject experiencing an
object and acting on that experience).
'I think I'm fairly happy with "all experience is pattern experience" ... -
it's the comment that we can't analyze those patterns according to a
typology of value that I am dubious about.'
My point was, that if experience and value are understood as synonymous and
if we only experience patterns, then this experience expresses only one type
of value: the existence of the pattern itself. The only way I see to analyze
that value, is by distinguishing its stability (observable as continuity),
its versatility (observable as continuity despite ...) and possibly its
harmony with higher level patterns of value (somehow lending it 'more' or
'stronger' continuity). All other types of value you could name and analyze
are not synonymous with experience (not ontologically given), but dependent
on a SOM-based distinction between a valuing subject and a valued object.
'What makes a symbol "intellectual" rather than "social"? Are symbols only
available on the intellectual level? (possibly - but I suspect that the
concept of "truth" is a late arrival on the scene)'
In the end symbols are "intellectual", because of defining "intellectual" as
"everything symbolic". Symbols are not only available on the intellectual
level. There's nothing else available there. The CONCEPT of "truth" is for
sure a late arrival on the intellectual scene, but the EXPERIENCE of "truth"
(as a quality of 'standing for' relationships) was there from the beginning.
Only when you can 'think about your thinking', when you can create symbols
that stand for other symbols, the concept of "truth" can appear.
I understand 'created in the brain' in 'the collection and manipulation of
symbols, created in the brain, that stand for patterns of experience' not as
restriction on the type of symbols used to define the intellectual level.
(In which case other types of symbols could be "social".) For me it's just
an (inessential or -indeed- redundant) explanation of what a symbol is. The
real definition of what a (any) symbol is, is that it is something that
stands for something else. It is (only) the 'standing for' experience that
With friendly greetings,
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