Re: MD Access to Quality

From: Erin (
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 01:12:41 BST

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    Ok but I still can't see how it can be considered a pragamtic approach.
    You said to ham in one post that assumptions are not empirical. With this expansion of the definition to include everything and its mother I don't see why assumptions are not considered emprical or pragmatic. Because that is getting into as you say "who experiences what"

    Platt Holden <> wrote:
    Hi Erin,

    > Hello Platt,
    > I think if you call it pure empricism it makes more sense to me because it
    > is distinguishing it somewhat but to me it still makes more sense to call
    > it experience. Maybe just because I think calling it pure empircism sounds
    > kind of silly for some reason. For example, somebody put a quote about a
    > former president saying something like.. try it to see if it works and if
    > it doesnt' try something else. That "trying it" reminds me of what the
    > label emprical is all is what distinguishes science from
    > philosophy.

    I can't get inside Pirsig's head, but I presume he was attempting to say
    that experience could be thought about as an idea without necessarily
    assuming that there has to be, as Ham says, an "agent" who experiences
    objects "out there." In other words, Pirsig wants to divorce "experience"
    from the subject/object worldview. Of course, he meets with a great deal
    of resistance because we've always been taught and have come to understand
    that the very meaning of "experience" presupposes someone having an
    experience of something. The term "empirical" buys into that common
    understanding. So I agree that to attempt a distinction by calling it
    "pure experience" doesn't make one suddenly comprehend Pirsig's point. To
    me, Pirsig's point is brought home more clearly when I put Quality and
    "existence" (rather than "experience") together as being the same. That
    helps to eliminate ideas about who experiences what, or who tries what,
    which, after all, come after existence itself. (Of course, experience and
    existence are also inseparable.)

    > If you lose the distinction, pragmatism doesn't make any
    > sense. Is Pirsig saying there shouldn't be a distinction between science
    > and philosophy. Is he also using a "pure" pragmatism?

    There's no difference between science and philosophy in that they both
    hold to the S/O worldview. I think that's what Pirsig is driving at.


    Here's the quote from Pirsig that Erin discusses above:

    > "I think the trouble is with the word 'experience.' It can be used in at
    > least three ways. It can be used as a relationship between and object and
    > another object (as in Los Angeles experiencing earthquakes). It is more
    > commonly used as a subject-object relationship. This relationship is
    > usually considered the basis of philosophic empiricism and experimental
    > scientific knowledge.In subject-object metaphysics, this experience is
    > between a pre-existing object and subject, but in the MOQ, there is no pre-
    > existing subject or object. Experience and Dynamic Quality become
    > synonymous. . . . So in the MOQ, experience comes first, everything else
    > comes later. This is pure empiricism as opposed to scientific empiricism,
    > which, with its pre-existing subjects and objects, is not really so pure."
    > (LC, p. 515)

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