Re: MD Science vs. Theism: Where's The Beef?

From: Matt Kundert (
Date: Wed May 04 2005 - 19:22:14 BST

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    Matt said:
    Isn't a Pirsigian supposed to be some kind Jamesian? It seems to me that if
    people follow Pirsig's usurpation of James' pragmatist theory of truth, the
    "Will to Believe" is all we need, or else you'll have to start rebutting and
    qualifying Pirsig's use of James, which means having to break away from such
    heavily favored passages as the rectangular/polar coordinates section.

    To me, the importance of this (aging) thread has been as a kind of litmus
    test for finding out what kind of Pirsigians we have around here.

    Mark said:
    I thought the purpose of this forum was to start with some Pirsigian ideas
    and see what we can make of them, you know, bat 'em around and see which of
    his ideas lead to a better explanation of the world as we experience it.

    If everyone who participates here must be some kinda absolute Pirsigian,
    whatever that is, then y'all better call yourselves members of a cult rather
    than working philosophers.

    I think you did misunderstand me a little bit. What's funny is that I'm
    usually in your position.

    The reason I said this thread might be a good litmus test for what kind of
    Pirsigian a person is is because I think there are many kinds, or really,
    different versions of two archtypes. I've long argued that there are two
    inconsistent philosophical positions in the pages of Pirsig's books,
    roughly, one pragmatist and the other Platonist. I don't think you can be
    one and the other at the same time. Some people have, in one way or
    another, argued against me that you can. In other words, that you can put
    Pirsig's James sections together with other, less pragmatic sections (like
    all his talk about "metaphysics").

    So, what I was implying is that people who think there is a conflict between
    theism and science are not following James very well, which means not
    following what I believe Pirsig would suggest (as he does simply with the
    title of ZMM). That's fine. People can do that. I think they're wrong,
    but what's more, I think people should realize how many of Pirsig's other
    insights you'd have to let go of too. I only mention it because of the
    Pirsig-centric nature of the website.


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