Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

From: Scott R (
Date: Sat Oct 04 2003 - 16:21:14 BST

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    > [Scott:]
    > The difference between the weather and the mind is that with mind there
    > is memory, and hence self-awareness.
    > [Paul:]
    > As I said, it is a crude analogy to draw attention to the argument that
    there is nothing "doing" the thinking other than a figure of speech. In this
    conception, "self-awareness" is just more of the process.

    And my objection to the analogy is precisely that: that it attempts to lead
    one to think that thinking is just like any observed process, to the idea
    that there is nothing doing it. This is nominalism. It is an attempt to
    avoid the logic of contradictory identity by ignoring the dynamic in

    > [Scott:]
    > Your analogy reminds me of the
    > functionalist comparison of thinking, as something that brains do, with
    > digestion, as something that stomachs do. The all-important difference,
    > of course, is that thinking can think about thinking, but digestion cannot
    > digest digestion.
    > [Paul:]
    > I said nothing about thinking being "something that brains do". As I
    > have said previously, one cannot understand intellectual patterns by
    > investigating biological patterns.

    I know you didn't. I am saying you cannot understand thinking by treating
    like any other observed process. In fact, one cannot understand thinking at
    all, and these analogies are false attempts at such an understanding.

    - Scott

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