After my short break I've been rereading all of this months posts trying to find those bit and
pieces that may help focus us on answers to the seven interrelated questions that start with:
> Of all the levels, the one that seems to create the most confusion or appear most obscure is
> the intellectual level. What exactly is it?
In theory we all probably agree with DMB when he states:
> we can be sure that were dealing with intellectual values only to the extent that we're sure they
> TRANSCEND [go beyond the limits of, are separate from or beyond] social values.
But if Richard Budd's suggestion for next month topic is any indication:
> After all, the MoQ can have no value in moral or metaphysical thought if the thinker must always check
> with Robert M. Pirsig to know if he's correctly applying the levels..
In practice making these level distinctions, particularly at the social and intellectual level, are
anything but SURE. If you seek worldview that is SURE, ABSOLUTELY SURE, there are numerous
religions which will enthusiastically provide this perspective, IMHO the MoQ cannot. But as one is
"... a very complex struggle of conflicting patterns of values. This conflict is the residue of
evolution. As new patterns evolve they come into conflict with old ones. Each stage of evolution
creates in its wake a wash of problems".Pirsig, Robert M., Lila. An Inquiry into morals. New York
(Bantam Books) 1991, 163
you must seek a GOOD method of understanding these problems. This quote (modified by replacing
"science" with the MoQ) suggest a basic caveate when approaching level assignments,
interrelationships, indeed reality.
"But [the MoQ truth] contain[s] an overwhelming difference from [ many other philosophic and]
theological truths: IT IS PROVISIONAL. [The MoQ] always contains an eraser, a mechanism whereby
new Dynamic insight could wipe out old static patterns without destroying .. itself. Thus [The MoQ,
unlike orthodox theology [and philosophy], is capable of continuous, evolutionary growth. ." pg. 254
So IMHO the MoQ's power lies not in providing answers but rather in providing a framework to ask the
questions or investigate the problems.
So as we ask the question:
What are the intellectual level values?
We find that before we can answer that we first need to answer :
Are intelligence and intellectual value the same thing?
The consensus seems to be no, in which I agree.
But as we look at other intellectual patterns outside of the MoQ, we find Mark Buter's
interpretation of Bloom's Taxonomy. Which then seems to be supported by the following was taken from
the Principia Cybernetica website which has been previously referred to by myself and others. The
quotes are accessible through this link(http://pcp.vub.ac.be/METAPHYS.html) to the page which
details PC's metaphysical position.
[The ...are minor deletions, and bracketed items are my changes or additions to the text to make it
correspond to my MoQish interpretation]
The basic MoPC evolutionary levels in order of emergence are:
"1.Prebiotic: the developments taking place before the origin of the life, i.e. the
emergence of physico-chemical complexity: the Big Bang, space and time, energy
and particles, atoms and the different elements, molecules up to organic
polymers, simple dissipative structures.
2.Biological: the origin of life and the further development of the specifically
biological aspects of it: DNA, reproduction, autopoiesis, prokaryotes vs.
eukaryotes, multicellularity, sexual reproduction, the species.
3.Cognitive: the origin of mind, i.e. the basic cybernetic, cognitive organization,
going from simple reflexes to complex nervous systems, learning, and thought.
4.Social: the development of social systems and culture: communication,
cooperation, moral systems, memes "
In the... transition [between levels] some things that was once fixed and uniquely determined by
external conditions becomes variable and subject to the action of the trial and error method.
Control of associating, like every metasystem transition, is a revolutionary step of the highest
order directed against slavish obedience by the organism to environmental dictatorship. As is always
true in the trial and error method , only a small proportion of the arbitrary associations prove
useful and are reinforced, but these are associations which could not have arisen directly under the
influence of the environment. And they are what permits a reasoning being those forms of behavior
which are inaccessible to the animal that was frozen in the preceding stage.
>>Although most of the transitions taken place sequentially within each main track, and these track
emerge roughly in the order they are presented here, there is also essential interaction between the
categories. For example, communication and cooperation between organisms (social track) takes place
before rational thought (cognitive track) emerges, and is in a mutual positive feedback relation
with that cognitive transition. Similarly, sexual reproduction (biological) appears in parallel with
the emergence of reflexes (cognitive) and influences the appearance of social cooperation via its
formation of family groupings.<<
"Human intelligence, as distinct from the intelligence of non-human animals, results from
a.....transition [to a higher Intellectual level ] that allows the organism to control the formation
of associations of mental representations, producing imagination, language, goal setting, humor,
arts and sciences."
"But the[Intellect] also has another function--its basic one: to control the organism, carrying out
active behavior which changes the environment and creates new experience."
Copyright © 1992-2000 Principia Cybernetica All rights reserved
Notice the section enclosed by >> << has a similar pattern as Pirsig's response to McWatt which
raised ire earlier. It seems inherent that simple hierarchies, while powerful for ease of
understanding, always have cases which don't neatly fit within the system. But even so if we modify
PC metaphysics like this:
3. Cognitive: the origin of [intelligence], i.e. the basic cybernetic, cognitive organization,
going from simple reflexes to complex nervous systems, learning, and thought.
And then add, or define , the intellectual level using MoPC terms:
5. Intellect: a development that allows the organism to control the formation of associations of
cognitive representations of experience, and to control the organism, carrying out active behavior
which changes the environment and creates new experience."
I think then we then have a "good" intelligence/intellect split that conforms very closely to the
MoQ, MoPC, and Mark's interpretation of Bloom's Taxonomy. Then for the MoQ purist, push MoPC #3
"Cognitive" into the middle reaches MoQ 3# the Social level (communication and cooperation between
organisms (social track) takes place before rational thought (cognitive track) emerges) which
results in a flow like this:
INORGANIC>>the Big Bang, space and time, energy and particles, atoms and the different elements,
molecules, simple dissipative structures, up to >>>ORGANIC>>>organic polymers,DNA, reproduction,
autopoiesis, prokaryotes vs.eukaryotes, multicellularity, sexual reproduction, the species >>>
SOCIAL >>>going from simple reflexes to complex nervous systems, communication, cooperation,
cognitive organization or intelligence, learning, thought, the development of social systems and
culture:,".>>>INTELLECT>>> abstract associations of experience,numbers, moral systems, memes, philosophy>>>>
But even this is overly simplistic because rather than serial development, according to Pirsig GOOD
systems work in parallel more like this:
As events dynamically and continuously occur our perceptions of them appear in their wake like a
section or wavefront moving through all levels as indicated (|<<<DQ) above.
So PROVISIONALLY , based on this model and my experience, I would say that until the intellectual
ability to create abstract associations from experience occured, human social systems and culture as
we commonly know them did not exists. And a very early part of that abstraction was all the stuff
Pirsig was talking to McWatt about.
But as Roger so aptly puts it, "I could be wrong." but that's OK because about the time I get it
right everything will have changed anyway.
MOQ.org - http://www.moq.org
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