Date: Sun Feb 20 2005 - 22:38:21 GMT
Hi DMB, Mark, anyone listening in.
I know this might seem hard to believe, but I think I have got the basic
idea of the MoQ, ie that [Dynamic] Quality gives rise to all our other
impressions etc, which are then segregated out into our five different
senses. Maybe I haven't completely plumbed the mystical depths of it to the
degree that you two have, but I think I get that main point. I just want to
get a more specific handle on *how* this happens, and, as you say, this is
the tricky part.
Unfortunately, your and Mark's comments have done nothing to clarify the
matter for me, which could easily be due to stupidity on my part. So, I
shall make one last attempt to make clear what my concern is. If nobody else
picks up on this, then I shall retreat back into my shell and ponder it
through on my own.
From the Copleston annotations:
"When, therefore, the Absolute is described as sentient experience, this
term is really being used analogically." This I take to mean that in the
Idealist tradition that Copleston is describing, we have access to the
Absolute through "sentient experience" - and that there is a *difference*
between the sentient experience through which we access the Absolute, and
the sentient experience by which we access, eg, hot stoves.
Pirsig then comments: " The MOQ uses it literally. " In other words, I take
Pirsig to be _denying_ the difference which was assumed in the Idealist
tradition, and to be asserting that in the MoQ we have access to the
Absolute (ie DQ) through our sentient experience, and that this sentient
experience is not different in kind or type from the sentient experience by
which we access, eg, a hot stove.
Copleston goes on to quote: " 'Feeling, as we have seen, supplies us with a
positive idea of nonrelational unity. " I'm assuming here that 'feeling'
corresponds to "sentient experience" as previously discussed, so "sentient
experience" is the source of this idea, ie our awareness of DQ.
Pirsig then comments: " In the MOQ feeling corresponds to biological
quality. " So, so far as I can discern the logic here, Pirsig is saying that
we have access to the Absolute (DQ) through "sentient experience" (=
'feeling') which is to be understood literally (NOT analogically) as
corresponding to biological quality. So we have access to DQ through
biological quality. Which is where I get stuck - and why I suggested in my
original question that it would be of interest to try and work out what
Pirsig means. Because, having denied the analogical use of "sentient
experience" it seems that Pirsig is committed to saying that we access DQ
through the biological level (which I note you both agree is daft). My
problem is that I cannot see how Pirsig avoids that conclusion.
Mark said: "16-02-05: But this is an analogy for that which is then used at
a 'higher level' by the metaphysician." which is why he doesn't see a
problem here, but Pirsig explicitly DENIES that he is using it analogically.
(Which is why I haven't gone into the detail of your response, Mark, as it
seems you've missed the main point of my concern - which is why I'm spelling
it out so slowly).
Mark 20a-02-05: Hi Sam, Thanks for spelling it out slowly. However, if you look at the diagram in 'The Edge of Chaos' which indicates the event stream and four patterned levels evolving in it, you can see quite clearly that all levels respond to DQ independently of each other. So, we can BOTH experience DQ at the Biological level, AND use this experience analogically. When Pirsig asserts that 'feeling' is a Biological pattern in the MoQ, he is aiming for clarity, so we all read from the same hymn book.
This is not axe grinding on my part - i've been saying this for years!
Note that it is the SAME DQ expereinced at all levels. Therefore, everyone can access DQ no matter what level of evolution they are dominated by. This may rather shock you Sam, but the alcaholic can have Dynamic experiences which are on a par with Religious experience. One difference between these two is that religious experience can be accomodated in socialy acceptable patterns of behaviour. Again, this is implied by TEOC diagram, if you would but look at it.
If "sentient experience" or 'feeling' or 'sense of value' were being used
analogically, then there wouldn't be a problem (although we could still ask
where emotions fit in). But Pirsig explicitly denies this. Therefore - so it
seems to me - he is committed to giving the biological level a primacy in
Mark 20a-02-05: If you read the annotations carefuly, i feel you will see that Pirsig does not deny that which you claim he does. Pirsig asserts that Biological access to DQ is of the same DQ as that the metaphysician points towards. For the sake of clarity, it is stated that 'feeling' is a biological experience. One does not 'feel' a social law or the equation E=mc2, but one may be 'feel' biological delight in social justice or elegent mathematical equations. Also, one does not 'feel' rock, one experiences biological stimulation upon contact with rock. (You may remember that i once wrote a post in the MD about the coherence of running one's fingers over tree bark - there is a good way to do this and a bad way to do it, and an excellent way to do it.)
I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone else on this point, or from
either DMB or Mark if they are prepared to exercise a little patience and
treat my questions as genuine and not axe-grinding.
Mark 20a-02-05: Your enquiery into emotion is a top notch one i wish to explore with you Sam.
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