Re: MD Is the MoQ still in the Kantosphere?

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 20:19:54 GMT

  • Next message: Phaedrus Wolff: "Re: MD Is the MoQ still in the Kantosphere?"

    Hi Paul,

    It's a pleasure to have you back.

    > Sam said:
    > This is from a post I sent to MF in April: As I understand the MoQ there
    > are three elements:
    > Quality, Dynamic Quality and Static Quality.
    > Paul:
    > I think this is incorrect from a metaphysical categorisation point of
    > view but there is something in what you say which I'll get to below.

    I've been musing on it as well, and I think as stated it is indeed a mistake. What I was wanting to
    get at was that Quality has two aspects, dynamic and static, and that these aren't hierarchical.(I
    think DMB accurately characterises the relationship as hierarchical, however, ie I'm disagreeing,
    again, with how the MoQ is set up. Sorry about that.)

    What do you make of Scott Roberts 'logic of contradictory identity' as applied to SQ/DQ? That's a
    more fully developed way of putting across what I'm trying to describe. "Quality" refers to the
    whole, not a separate, third element.

    > Therefore I think static quality is best understood as a dialectical
    > addition, made in LILA, to the MOQ as laid out in ZMM and that Quality
    > is not a third metaphysical entity but has actually been divided into
    > two - its static and Dynamic aspects.

    That makes sense.

    > Sam said:
    > The reason why DQ and Quality need to be distinguished is because if
    > they are identified then the MoQ collapses into solipsism, in other
    > words, MY appreciation of DQ is not contextualised by my static patterns
    > that have led me to this point; no, my appreciation of DQ is a direct
    > appreciation of all that there is...
    > I think the heart of what I am trying to argue is that DQ is a relative
    > term not an absolute term. Whether a particular pattern is DQ or not
    > depends upon its relationship with the SQ surrounding it.
    > Paul:
    > I'm not sure about that statement. First of all, a static pattern cannot
    > be DQ; DQ is that which is not patterned.

    I think this is a crucial point, so let's please spend a bit of time on it. If the MoQ is ultimately
    grounded in some form of empiricism, then personal experience must play some part in the
    determination of whether the Quality experienced is static or dynamic. So my sentence above should
    be unpacked to read "Whether a particular pattern is EXPERIENCED AS DQ or not depends upon its
    relationship with the SQ surrounding it." I don't want to say that DQ is a pattern of its own.

    Which is, though, what I think is logically implied by the converse of my argument. That is, if DQ
    is not context-dependent, then it becomes uniform and reified, and therefore, even if ineffable, it
    is a static pattern. This is one of the key correlations as I see it between the MoQ and
    Schleiermacher, although I'm still unpicking lots of these thoughts. (Have you had a chance to have
    a look at the essay that kicked off this thread? It's now on front page). And it is
    precisely this which you quote Pirsig as supporting:

    > Secondly, Pirsig says that DQ
    > *is* absolute in the sense that pure value, experienced as such, is the
    > same for everyone. This quote is, again, from the 1993 lecture.
    > "Dynamic Quality is the only part of Quality described in ZMM. It is the
    > part of Quality about which everyone agrees. The experience of Dynamic
    > Quality is the same for everyone, it is only the experiences and objects
    > which are mentally associated with the experience which are different.
    > There is no difference in the liking when the liking is independent of
    > the things liked."
    > I think that, generally speaking, experience is a combination of both
    > static and Dynamic aspects of Quality together and both aspects
    > contribute towards an overall value judgement. In this sense,
    > *experience* is "relativised" but the DQ aspect of experience remains
    > absolute.
    > "Dynamic Quality is universal. No-one says that his liking for beans is
    > any different to someone else's liking for carrots independently of the
    > beans and carrots involved. When the differences occur they are the
    > result of the static patterns which vary from one person to another."
    > [Pirsig, AHP Lecture, 1993]

    It seems to me that there is a confusion embedded in what Pirsig is saying here. To say "There is no
    difference in the liking when the liking is independent of the things liked" seems to me to be an
    example of what Wittgenstein described as 'language going on holiday'. I just do not understand what
    Pirsig is saying here. Can you clarify it for me? Because it seems to depend upon a notion of
    *private* experience, which I think is unsustainable.

    There seem to be lots of conceptual knots here (they might, of course, just be in my own mind) but I
    think you'll be a very helpful interlocutor to try and unpick them. I hope you do get a chance to
    read the essay.


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