Re: MD Access to Quality

From: Erin (
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 20:40:35 BST

  • Next message: Erin: "Re: MD Access to Quality"

    Hi Michael,
    You wrote "The ambiguity of "good" is what got James into problems. The MOQ says that the good to which truth is subordinate is intellectual and Dynamic usefulness, not social usefulness."
    I think "goodness" is still ambiguous and I am not clear at how you think Pirsig has made it unambiguous. Dynamic is given as a complement but it is a ambiguous compliment.
    Why else would everyone claim to be dynamic but disagree with each other?
    On 5/18/05, Platt Holden <> wrote:Hi Erin,

    > 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"

    Perhaps you can explain to me why you seem to consider a "pragmatic
    approach" to be desirable. Pirsig takes a dim view of James' pragmatism in
    Lila, pointing out that Nazis were pragmatic. (For similar reasons I
    object to postmodernists making pragmatism an object of worship.)

    The problem I see with a "pragmatic" approach is that it begs the
    questions, "Useful in what ways to whom?" followed by a judgment, "Is
    that good?" (Actually the judgment comes prior to determining the action
    and its supposed beneficiaries.)

    For example, welfare programs that dole out other people's money were
    hailed as a pragmatic way to "help" the poor, but the results have turned
    out to be anything but helpful, creating a permanent dependent class. The
    successful trial and error experimental methods of science don't transfer
    well up to the level of human societies.

    "Pragmatic" social engineering usually ends up making more of mess of
    things than the mess it intended to clean up, not to mention the loss of
    individual liberty such engineering demands, a loss some people consider
    OK so long as their idea of a "greater good" is served -- a road that
    leads to tyranny.

    As to your question about assumptions, they are indeed empirical if you
    buy the MOQ view that ideas are experience like everything else. By
    contrast, in the S/O worldview the same assumptions are not empirical
    because they are not perceptible to the physical senses. It was in this
    latter SOM, scientific context that I said "assumptions are nonempirical."


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