Re: MD Empiricism

From: Simon Magson (
Date: Wed Dec 01 2004 - 17:21:38 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    This is casuistry. I repeat, what sense experience is involved in knowing
    that the square root of 2 is irrational?

    I’m sorry if it appears casuist. It is supposed to be a genuine
    epistemological proposition i.e., the avoidance of infinite epistemic
    regress via a grounding of coherentism in the primary empirical reality of
    value. I’ll try and break it down for you.

    First of all, when you say “sense experience” you appear to be excluding
    value from that experience. I am arguing, in accordance with the MOQ, that
    value has historically been “excluded” from sense experience for
    metaphysical and not empirical reasons.

    I am arguing that, within the decimal number system, the square root of 2 is
    1.412 simply because it is an established pattern of intellectual quality
    maintained by static social conventions.

    I am arguing that the establishment of this intellectual pattern occurred as
    a result of the invention of the decimal number system, and the invention of
    square roots within that number system, and that these inventions are the
    direct result of a sense of these inventions being valuable, more valuable
    than an infinite number of other possible systems because of their coherence
    and, perhaps, applicability.

    So in answer to your question - “What sense experience is involved in
    “knowing” that the square root of 2 is irrational?” - it is either the sense
    of intellectual quality iself e.g., the primary perception of ratio,
    coherence, or whatever the kind of value was that created the number system
    and square roots, or, much more likely to the non-mathematician, it is
    simply a sense of social quality i.e., conformity to authority in education
    and the mathematical conventions it teaches.

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    If you call reason a sense, then
    what did Pirsig mean when he said "In the MOQ, reason is completely
    dependent on the senses"?

    I’m not calling reason a sense. I am arguing that you are taking what the
    MOQ calls an intellectual sense of quality and calling it reason.

    He meant that there are no a priori truths waiting to be discovered by

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    The square root of 2 is known to be irrational through logical necessity.

    Then what is the necessity of logical necessity known by? What justifies the
    belief in logical necessity?

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    Unicorns are known not to exist empirically. Do you really want to do away
    with this distinction?

    No, but that wasn’t what I was saying was it? I was making a statement about
    rationalism and the lack of constraints it places on what does or does not
    exist. God is not known to exist empirically but is considered to be
    monistic reality itself by some rationalists, such as Spinoza. So why accept
    a non-empirical God but not a non-empirical unicorn?

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    Sensation is separation.

    No it isn’t. This sounds like SOM.

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    We always see particular things.

    Not strictly true.

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    I see trees and walls. I hear tunes and thuinder. I taste sourness and
    sweetness. I don't see, hear, or taste "pure experience".

    Correct. Pure experience precedes the distinction into seeing, hearing and
    tasting. You really don’t know what I’m referring to do you? However, I
    accept that in this discussion this is my problem and it is frustrating
    because it seems there is nothing I can do about it!!

    Scott Roberts wrote:
    Are you saying that a baby experiences everything in one dimension: low to
    high quality. She doesn't experience hunger differently from a wet diaper?

    Yes she does experience them differently but the MOQ postulates that it is
    primarily a difference of quality from which “hunger” and “wetness” and
    “diapers” are derived as “complex patterns of values”.


    It's fast, it's easy and it's free. Get MSN Messenger today!

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Dec 01 2004 - 17:27:06 GMT