Re: MD Where does quality reside?

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Sun Oct 31 2004 - 17:26:38 GMT

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Where does quality reside?"

    Mark et al,

    > msh says:
    > I really like this paragraph. It says a lot about Quality, although
    > it doesn't imply that Quality cares, only that it perceives. But I
    > think we need to guard against mistaking analogy for fact. There is
    > a sense in which the Sun "gives" life, but is it the same sense in
    > which I give my nephew a bicycle? Human beings tend to sprinkle
    > their discussions with poetry, (see?), especially personification.
    > So when Pirsig here says Quality "perceives" the good of freedom. the
    > evil of fixed values, I think he's speaking poetically, using
    > analogy to make his point.

    If it is only an analogy, like saying the Sun "gives" life, then there is
    zero reason for the MOQ. One might as well be a materialist and say that
    quality just means that at some point in evolution, some entities developed
    that like some things better than others. Unless there is real perceiving
    and preferring (which is the same as caring -- see below) at all levels,
    there is no justification for saying that Quality applies to the inorganic,
    and there is no justification for saying that evolution has a quality-based
    direction, that the later level is morally superior to the earlier. We just
    like it more.

    If there is perceiving without preferring, then again there is no reason
    for the MOQ. There would be no reason to work toward increased freedom if
    Quality just observes.

    This does not mean that to keep the MOQ one must personify Quality. One can
    avoid personification by thinking of Quality as a verb rather than as a
    noun that has properties. Or one can think of Quality as the ground which
    manifests only as perception, preference, caring, etc.

    - Scott

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