Re: MD Primary Reality

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Tue May 03 2005 - 16:27:06 BST

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: MD Access to Quality"

    Hi Ham,

    Platt (previously)
    > > You have misinterpreted Pirsig's premise. He doesn't say Quality exists
    > > independently of conscious sensibility. He says Quality is experience,
    > > meaning that valuistic judgment are intrinsic to experience, i.e. values
    > > are not something separate from conscious sensibility as you suggest.
    > If this is Pirsig's actual position (I haven't seen it stated this way),
    > then I stand corrected. That would of course make Experience = Quality the
    > primary existential reality. It would also support Ian's "triplet"
    > concept: "subject-experience-object". (You should check the note I've just
    > dashed off to Ian, which discusses my objections to that concept.)

    In Chapter 5 of Lila, Pirsig explicitly states: "Quality is direct
    experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions." He
    further clarifies this principle in his SODV paper: "Quality is a separate
    category of experience that is neither subject or object." The latter
    quote denies Ian's triplet.
    > I reviewed the entire Vitzthum speech and noted with interest his statement
    > of the mystery of proprietary consciousness which he is confident will
    > eventually be "reducible" by scientific materialism:

    His faith is no surprise coming from a materialist.

    > It just goes to show that there's nothing more self-serving to the
    > scientist than coming up with a "mechanized" concept -- even if the subject
    > is human consciousness!

    Yes indeed. The materialists' faith in the explanatory power of
    "mechanisms" is tantamount to a Christian's faith in God.

    > I do think you are doing a disservice to Mr.
    > Pirsig, though, by quoting an atheistic materialist perspective of reality
    > to support the credibility of his MoQ. For me, it places the level of
    > Quality at a "new low".

    First of all, the MOQ is atheistic. Secondly, I used the Vitzthum quote
    not to support the credibility of the MOQ, but to help clarify one aspect
    of it that seemed to confound some. Finally, what in your opinion, would
    be at a higher level than experience?


    > > So for me and some others, Pirsig's thesis is highly credible, or, to use
    > > his vernacular, "a high quality intellectual pattern."
    > I'll be interested in your comments on my latest post to Ian.
    > Essentially yours,
    > Ham
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