RE: MF Discussion Topic for September 2004

From: Matt the Enraged Endorphin (
Date: Thu Sep 30 2004 - 20:22:27 BST

  • Next message: Horse: "MF CALL FOR VOTES"

    I just wanted to point out that DMB has never sounded more like a pragmatist than he
    did in his last post to the MF. Despite tremendously obscuring animus, in the last year
    I've been coming to the conclusion that DMB and I aren't that far apart philosophically
    (at least, not as far as should be supposed given the boisterousness), and the last post
    pretty much cinches it. And, though Glenn and I (I'm pretty sure) come from opposite
    directions on this point, DMB and my differences can pretty much be summed up by
    Glenn's gloss and then question, "Apparently scientists are not privy to such
    wonderfulness as Tao trueness, Quality glue, and Kosmos currents and must accept a
    second rate kind of truth that depends on the acceptance of their culture. Please
    I agree with Glenn on this point because I see Pirsig as doing to philosophy what Luther
    did to Christianity. I see Pirsig as attempting to take away the special authority and
    special relation to reality that scientists have thought of themselves as having ever since
    the New Science's spectacular success at predicting the movements of the planets in
    the 17th century. From the pragmatist's point of view, scientists assumed the mantle that
    the priests held in the Middle Ages and then lost after Luther told us that we were _all_
    connected to God. From Glenn's point of view, he's saying that we shouldn't take away
    Dorothy's Ruby Slippers and give them to some false idol, but the way I see his remark
    that scientists must have a "second rate kind of truth" because they have what Pirsig
    has called "tin ear," is that, once we take away Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, we should
    wonder why we should give them to _anybody_, since belief in Oz seems to swing free
    from success in moving about the world.
    Glenn's criticism comes from indignation over the scientist being de-frocked, whereas
    DMB's animus towards me comes from his belief that I've castrated Pirsig. I see both
    Glenn and DMB as thinking that _somebody_ has a special relation to reality, be it the
    scientist's special method or the Buddha's enlightenment. I see both as trying to
    maintain a cultural pedestal for some kind of priest caste. Rather than this, I see
    everyone as being as connected up to reality as anybody else. The differences between
    people and professions is simply a matter of what people are good at dealing with,
    where "good" is dependent on the internal rhythms of a tradition of dealing with the
    subject material (this last formulation is actually kind of misleading because the
    "tradition" and the "subject material" are interdependent, but that would require too much
    space to cover). The difference as I see it is that Glenn and DMB would like to assign
    "has Knoweldge of Reality" to somebody specifically, whereas I'm content to hand out
    less pretentious and more specific things like "has knowledge of rocks," "has knowledge
    of cells," "has knowledge of bovine migratory patterns," "has knowledge of politics," "has
    knowledge of 17th century French literature," "has knowledge of the history of
    philosophy," and "has knowledge of the Dao De Ching." For pragmatists, "knowledge of
    reality" doesn't mean anything if it doesn't mean smaller things like the above.


    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archive -
    MF Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_focus follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Sep 30 2004 - 23:26:50 BST