Re: MD On Faith

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Wed Oct 27 2004 - 20:40:22 BST

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: MD On Faith"

    Hi again,

    I think you'll find that the definition of "empiricism" is something
    like the view that experience, especially (but not exclusively) of
    the senses, is the only source of knowledge. So, yes, I agree that
    "empirical experience" is redundant. Furthermore, experience need
    not be measurable: after all, we experience love, friendship, and
    Quality, no?

    Mark (sh)

    On 27 Oct 2004 at 11:02, Erin wrote:
    Does sayingexperience seem less to you than saying empirical
    experience-- i am trying to figure out why that empirical has to be
    added, especially since it violates the definition.

    I experience Quality, and don'tcare ifexperiencing it falls outside
    empirical measurements, do you?

    Mark Steven Heyman <> wrote:
    Hi Erin,

    On 26 Oct 2004 at 22:49, Erin wrote:

    All sounds reasonable but I never thought the empirical label applied
    to the resurrection.

    msh says:
    I know. I used that example in response to the nonsense (presented
    elsewhere in this thread) that empiricism requires us to believe in
    resurrection because someone says they've experienced it.

    I was trying to understand if it really applied to Quality/values.
    Would you do this reasoning step-by-step for empirical evidence for
    Quality/values the way you did it for no empirical evidence for the

    msh says:
    I'll try. When you pick the pair of shoes that don't give you
    blisters, you are making your decision based on your experience of
    Quality. To use an example offered by Pirsig, when you decide to
    hang a painting rather than look at the ba! re wall, your decision is
    rooted in your perception that the painting is of higher artistic
    quality than the unadorned wall.

    Or take a look at the following verses:

    Mary had a little lamb,
    Little lamb, little lamb,
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Its fleece was white as snow
    And everywhere that Mary went,
    Mary went, Mary went,
    Everywhere that Mary went
    The lamb was sure to go

    Indelicate is he who loathes
    The aspect of his fleshy clothes,
    The flying fabric stitched on bone,
    The vesture of the skeleton,
    The garment neither fur nor hair,
    The cloak of evil and despair,
    The veil long violated by
    Caresses of the hand and eye.

    When you decide the second is better poetry, your decision is based
    upon your perception of Quality. I think all of these examples, and
    countless others you encounter every day, are your direct experiences
    of Quality, so that Quality may be said to be an empirical reality.

    N! ow, if you are looking for a Quality Meter that detects quality
    way a Geiger Counter detects radiation, I'm afraid there is no such
    device. However, we don't need a Quality Meter to experience
    Quality any more than we need a Geiger Counter to experience

    Mark (sh)

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