Re: MD Primary Reality

Date: Tue May 10 2005 - 06:47:47 BST

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MD Primary Reality"

    Hey Paul --

    Where were you when we needed you?

    Your explanation of the MoQ is the most cogent presentation I've seen, and
    I'm honored that you've drafted it in response to my
    subjectivist/objectivist reality check.
    Of course you would need a third statement to define the MoQ perspective --
    I anticipated that from everyone.

    May I make a few brief comments to show where my philosophy departs from the
    perspective you've so clearly outlined?

    > I think a third statement is required to adequately represent the position
    > of the MOQ.
    > Unlike (A), mind is not considered to be an outgrowth from nor composed of
    > matter. Unlike (B), matter is not considered to be an outgrowth from nor
    > composed of mind. This is because both mind and matter are considered to
    > "outgrowths" of value so neither needs to be composed of nor reduced to
    > other.

    I'm quite happy with that.
    > "In a materialist system mind has no reality because it is not material.
    > an idealist system matter has no reality because it is just an idea. The
    > acceptance of one meant the rejection of the other. In the MOQ, both mind
    > and matter are levels of value. Materialist explanations and idealist
    > explanations can coexist because they are descriptions of coexisting
    > of a larger reality." [Pirsig, LILA'S CHILD, Notes on Annotation 4]

    I have a problem only with "levels of value" since I think values are
    subjectively differentiated according to the type of phenomena they apply
    to. Of course I understand Essence to be the ultimate value. But you are
    speaking here of existential value, which to me is SOM oriented.

    > The MOQ agrees with (A) that it is scientifically evident that the
    > world appears to have evolved prior to mind (or at least prior to
    > language-writing organisms). However, it states that the consensus of
    > beliefs that produce the scientific evidence for said evolution come

    You seem to be saying that belief in evolution is the cause of evolution,
    even though the "consensus of beliefs" occurred long after the event. Does
    this presuppose the flexibility of time, or is time also a product of
    beliefs? And. if so, does this not suggest that "mind" which is the source
    of beliefs is pre-eminent?

    > "The MOQ does not deny the traditional scientific view of reality as
    > composed of material substance and independent of us. It says it is an
    > extremely high quality idea. We should follow it whenever it is practical
    > to do so. But the MOQ, like philosophic idealism, says this scientific
    > of reality is still an idea. If it were not an idea, then that
    > scientific material reality" would not be able to change as new scientific
    > discoveries come in." [Pirsig, LILA'S CHILD, Notes on Annotation 4]

    I understand the script you're following, although I'm not sure what makes
    the scientific view a "high quality idea". The scientist would say that his
    opinions are informed by empirical facts, which makes his conclusions
    something more than "ideas". Certainly, for practical results, scientific
    conclusions are more reliable than the speculative ideas of philosophers.
    On the other hand, for questions concerning the ultimate nature of reality,
    I'm willing to accept a less "reliable" conclusion if it makes sense, only
    because scientism doesn't have the methodology to answer it.

    > "It is important for an understanding of the MOQ to see that although
    > "common sense" dictates that inorganic nature came first, actually "common
    > sense" which is a set of ideas, has to come first. This "common sense" is
    > arrived at through a huge web of socially approved evaluations of various
    > alternatives. The key term here is "evaluation," i.e., quality decisions.
    > The fundamental reality is not the common sense or the objects and laws
    > approved of by common sense but the approval itself and the quality that
    > leads to it." [Pirsig, LILA'S CHILD, Notes on Annotation 97]

    Again, the implication is that ideas formed collectively at any time
    determine the state of events at any time. I believe that the structure and
    dynamics of the material world are a given, even though they are
    intellectualized constructs. I also believe that the universal pattern is
    "pre-intellectual" in the sense that it is the work of a Designer. If human
    ideas are capable of affecting the universe in any way -- individually or
    collectively -- it would be limited to changes in the
    socio/cultural/political sphere. (That is, unless man is clever enough to
    make telekinesis a practical tool.)

    > It agrees with (B) that "we should not be surprised that, despite
    > of effort by the most brilliant minds, there is as yet no physical theory
    > consciousness, no theory that explains how mindless matter and energy or
    > fields could be, or cause, conscious experience." It agrees because it
    > that conscious experience is caused by value, not by matter nor energy
    > fields. Furthermore, it says that, even presuming that the scientifically
    > evident idea of evolution is correct, intellectual consciousness is
    > dependent on the patterns of society (especially language), not directly
    > physical patterns.
    > "Mental patterns do not originate out of inorganic nature. They originate
    > out of society, which originates out of biology which originates out of
    > inorganic nature. And, as anthropologists know so well, what a mind
    > is as dominated by social patterns as social patterns are dominated by
    > biological patterns and as biological patterns are dominated by inorganic
    > patterns. There is no direct scientific connection between mind and
    > matter." [LILA p.178]

    I'm glad to see your rejection of the notion that mind is a product of
    nature, and am comforted by the statement that there is no scientific
    connection between the two. It's those dominant and submissive patterns
    that seem so contrived and unnecessary to me. (But, as I've never studied
    anthropology, who am I to criticize what goes on in anthropologists' minds?
    At least, I try to keep my own mind free from domination by biological

    > It agrees with (B) that the "reality of tables, chairs, stars and people"
    > the product of a specific user-interface but I think it would say that it
    > the product of a culture-specific interface to something that, strictly
    > speaking, has no essential, definable characteristic, including that of
    > complexity.

    "Specificity" may be the word here, Paul. I define it as the sensibilia of
    consciousness. Like values, the specificity of experience is proprietary to
    individual awareness.

    Since my last chat with you, I've been reminded that the MoQ is atheistic
    and that my philosophy of Essence is theistic, and never the twain shall
    meet. Apart from the lack of anything in your analysis that would support a
    Primary Source (such as Essence or Quality), I have little to criticize.

    I hope you'll be back with us as a "regular" soon.


    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 : Tue May 10 2005 - 06:52:47 BST