Re: MD "Is there anything out there?"

Date: Thu Dec 30 2004 - 20:33:23 GMT

  • Next message: Joseph Maurer: "MD ow!"

    Hi Paul:

    Thanks for replying to my query concerning your project, even though,
    unhappily, it contains no additional "insight".

    >What I have produced is a straight-forward
    > exposition of Pirsig's system. I did this by first organising all of the
    > material I have collected (from ZMM, LILA, LILA'S CHILD, SODV, AHP
    > Lecture and correspondence) into a logical order and then by adding my
    > own words to add context and link the material together. It just needs
    > tidying up a little and referencing so you can have a copy when I finish
    > it.

    I am most eager to read it.

    > Well, I would say it's intellect that constructs external reality. If
    > you feel the need to divorce imagination from rationality then go ahead.

    Intellect is based on man's reason and, I agree, is responsible for the
    construction of his finite reality.

    Paul continues:
    > What I was saying was that, in terms of philosophical discourse,
    > the conceptual distinction between 'out there' and 'in here' should not
    > be taken as a starting point, which it often is.

    It seems that you were trying to say something more than that, but I accept
    your answer.

    Ham said:
    > I have a problem with "being" as the primary source, as you probably
    > know.

    > I am using the term sense data for the generalised 'something' which is
    > sensed. It can also be called sense experience or just experience. I
    > don't mean anything subjective/objective or mental/physical. Those
    > distinctions are applied later and are nowhere to be found in the front
    > edge of the experience itself.

    You appear to be using sense data as both the source and the sensibility of
    the 'something'. What is this 'something'? If both 'out there' and 'in
    here' are sense data (which I maintain must be differentiated), you have a
    differentiated source without an observer or 'agent'.

    Ham said:
    > Data of any kind are specific, like any kind of being.

    Paul responded::
    > I disagree, perhaps sense data has too much SOM baggage but I am using
    > it as a simple reference to something sensed. Once differentiated, it is
    > this or that and not just pure sense data. It is then intellectualised
    > sense data with properties and so on i.e. intellectualised into objects
    > of some kind.

    This is still fuzzy metaphysics. To me, data is some specific kind of
    intelligence that can be made sensible. Can you give me an example of sense
    data that is not differentiated?

    Ham said:
    > As your statement implies, the "something that is there" cannot be sense
    > but "refers to the source of this sense data, prior to differentiation".
    > I see nothing illogical about calling the source Dynamic Quality, so long
    as it is
    > non-differentiated.

    > What I am saying is that Dynamic Quality is sensed, therefore, prior to
    > any intellectual differentiations being made, pure sense data is Dynamic
    > Quality i.e., pure sense data is pure undifferentiated value.
    > For experience to have a source there has to be something which cannot
    > be experienced, i.e., something *outside of* experience that is causing
    > it. The MOQ denies this proposition.

    It would appear that your "pure undifferentiated value" defines Dynamic
    Quality. If it has no precursor, it is logically the 'uncreated source' of
    experienced reality. Do I understand this correctly?

    Paul then says:
    > The differentiation of otherwise undifferentiated sense experience is
    > made on the basis of Quality. The differentiations are static patterns
    > in an otherwise undifferentiated Quality. The undifferentiated Quality,
    > i.e. minus static patterns, is referred to as Dynamic Quality.

    Your use of the term "otherwise undifferentiated" when referring to a pure,
    unified source is an equivocation. If patterns exist in Value (DQ), then it
    is differentiated. Logically, there must be a cause for this pattern
    differentiation. What is lacking here is a mechanism whereby
    differentiation occurs. This begs the question of "otherness", which you
    will deny. The challenge of metaphysics, it seems to me, is to provide a
    reasonable hypothesis for the division of Oneness into 'self' and 'other'.
    Since your philosophy rejects the self/other dualism of classical
    metaphysics, I don't see MOQ as having met that challenge. You can't posit
    Dynamic Quality as undifferentiated value and define it as a patterned
    entity, whether the patterns are dynamic or static. Clearly, without an
    'agent' to effect this differentiation, the theory is inadequate.

     Ham then asked:
    > Why isn't Value itself the experiential source?

    Paul replied:
    > You make a distinction between experiential reality and non-experiential
    > reality which I deny. Also, rather than being the source of experience,
    > value is postulated as pure experience itself.

    Metaphysical reality must be greater than what the finite mind grasps of it.
    The essentialist view is that there is an Absolute Source which is not
    dependent on causality or the conditions of finitude. (This 'uncreated'
    Source would represent what you've called "non-experiential reality".) I've
    hypothesized an ontology whereby differentiation arises without altering the
    Absolute Source. MOQ does not appear to be supported by an ontology.

     Ham also asked:
    > Inasmuch as all experience is differentiated, how can either data or
    > sensation(s) qualifiy as the undifferentiated Source?

    Paul answered:
    > Because not all experience is differentiated, although almost all of it
    > is.

    Again, Paul, can you provide an example of undifferentiated experience?

    Essentially yours,


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