Re: MD Self-consciousness

From: Scott R (
Date: Fri Oct 31 2003 - 17:51:26 GMT

  • Next message: Scott R: "Re: MD Self-consciousness"


    > [Paul:]
    > >From a Dynamic point of view, the MOQ can be called nominalist. There is
    > nothing fixed and eternal that intellectual patterns stand for. From a
    > static point of view, intellectual patterns help produce and stand for
    > structured reality, therefore the MOQ cannot be called nominalist.

    It is the viewing of intellectual patterns as existing to stand for
    something else, and hence dependent on the something else, which I am
    referring to by nominalism.

    The alternative is to see the something else as manifesting or expressing
    intellectual patterns.

    > [Paul:]
    > I'm not sure I agree that metaphysics requires us to leave behind
    > everyday affairs; I think the MOQ tries to ground metaphysics back in
    > [static and Dynamic] everyday experience whilst providing a rational
    > framework in which to incorporate more exceptional [Dynamic] experience,
    > such as mystic understanding. As such, I think it is important to
    > distinguish between the types of intellect/mind we are discussing and I
    > think the MOQ is right to use the static/Dynamic distinction as its
    > primary division to point towards non-verbal, immediately apprehended
    > awareness and not have it become pinned down with limiting definitions.
    > I also think it is right to limit a static definition of intellect and
    > mind - one of my biggest problems with the many different schools of
    > Buddhism is the varying and confusing use of "mind" [or at least in
    > western translations of Buddhism].

    Once one has realized that consciousness operates outside of the
    spatio-temporal framework, it seems to me foolish in the extreme to ground
    metaphysics in everyday experience. Similarly if one accepts quantum
    reality, and/or mysticism.

    > Of course, I think there is an overlap in one's overall experience,
    > there is no road sign saying "You are now leaving static reality, come
    > back soon," but I think Pirsig acknowledges this inherent problem of
    > combining mystical and metaphysical terms...
    > "Quality is indivisible, undefinable and unknowable in the sense that
    > there is a knower and a known, but a metaphysics can be none of these
    > things. A metaphysics must be divisible, definable, and knowable, or
    > there isn't any metaphysics. Since a metaphysics is essentially a kind
    > of dialectical definition and since Quality is essentially outside
    > definition, this means that a "Metaphysics of Quality" is essentially a
    > contradiction in terms, a logical absurdity." Lila p.73
    > ...and goes on and does it anyway.

    And more power to him. But I think he would hav emore success if he had
    incorporated the logic of contradictory identity. It is only Aristotelian
    logic that is absurd in this context.

    > [Scott to Matt prev:]
    > Hence my adoption of the logic of contradictory identity, and why I
    > think
    > that the MOQ is ultimately a failure. Again, I want to refer to Robert
    > Magliola's distinction between 'centric' and 'differential' mystical
    > "explanations". Centric explanations are like those you refer to above,
    > and
    > Pirsig's Quality, DQ, and SQ terminology is a perfect example. As such
    > it
    > leads the MOQ into error, by stating that mystical experience is "pure
    > DQ",
    > which leads to the gnostic consequence that SQ is evil, since it gets in
    > the
    > way of experiencing pure DQ..
    > Now I don't really think that that (SQ is evil) is what Pirsig thinks,
    > but
    > why not? Differential mystical philosophy avoids this from the get-go by
    > *starting* with contradictory identity. It doesn't allow the reification
    > of
    > anything (and hence avoids what Rorty doesn't like about metaphysics) in
    > one's terminology.
    > [Paul:]
    > The reification of Dynamic Quality is something I think Pirsig tries to
    > avoid throughout Lila e.g. when he discusses latching and degeneracy in
    > several contexts. However, I think you are right to draw out some of the
    > conclusions from a metaphysical system which gives moral superiority to
    > mystic understanding. I think the MOQ would say that it is in the
    > contexts and circumstances of life that we avoid such outright
    > reification and subsequent rejection of static patterns. After all,
    > those static patterns include our families, partners, children and
    > friends.

    I see the tendency toward reification as arising from concepts of "pure DQ"
    and seeing DQ is "pre-intellectual" and so forth. The L of CI would prevent
    this by emphasizing the absolute dependence between DQ and SQ.

    - Scott

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