Re: MD Time

From: ian glendinning (
Date: Thu May 26 2005 - 03:08:52 BST

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: DMB and Me (or, a Typology of the MD), Part III (B)"

    Scott - the substance ..

    You said
    The phrase "intellectual convenience" presupposes the modernist, nominalist
    point of view to which I object ... The word for [creating value-based
    distinctions] is intellect.

    I say
    Not sure why you say modernist, but nominalist yes - it's about
    taxonomy - choosing to name some sub-set of everything. Where you
    reject it - I say use with caution (cos it's never black and white).
    But, if I've summarised you correctly in [..] above, then we agree
    about what intellect is.

    Not sure how we got from intellect to intelligent creation. The
    intellect (of intelligent participants in the world) is simply
    classifying the messy world (out there) for pragmatic reasons - to
    live life - creatively.

    In the DQ (formless) / sq (form) split you quote
    "form is not other than formlessness, formlessness is not other than form."

    I say - is / is not - this is the doubt in my shades of grey. Things
    have form and formless aspects, but apart from intellectual
    constructions, no one thing is entirely one or the other.

    If you think LCI is a better model than MoQ - then I'd better shut up
    for a bit and read about it.

    (Although I espouse classification - I'm very wary of the destructive
    power of the analytic knife - things fall apart in your hands under
    analysis. I prefer to be synthetic rather than analytic - to build
    something better, from the best bits of what we already have - not
    discard or destroy something because it's not 100% perfect to start
    with - ie I hope I'm a constructive pragmatist - like evolution


    On 5/26/05, Scott Roberts <> wrote:
    > Ian,
    > Ian said:
    > You said - if I may condense ..
    > "Pirsig's division into DQ and SQ is too simple ... [and is in error]
    > ... because it privileges DQ over sq (explicitly)."
    > Agreed, but let's not throw baby (MoQ) out with the bathwater here.
    > Scott:
    > Depends on what you consider baby and what bathwater. See below.
    > Ian said:
    > D/S - Every binary-chop classification is an intellectual convenience
    > of some zillion shades of grey in complex reality. MoQ is not exempt.
    > DQ / SQ simply identifies an axis, a dimension, a degree of freedom,
    > an issue, our world view must recognise.
    > Scott:
    > The phrase "intellectual convenience" presupposes the modernist, nominalist
    > point of view to which I object, and is one of my reasons for rejecting the
    > MOQ, since it falls into this POV as well. My POV is that the zillion shades
    > of grey in complex reality are created by a zillion binary (or ternary, or
    > whatever) chops. That is, creation comes about by making distinctions, by
    > forming boundaries, all driven by value.The word for this is Intellect.
    > (N.b., I am not positing an Intelligent Designer here. Rather, I am positing
    > Intelligent Creation, i.e., there is no need to assume a Being that Designs.
    > There is just creativity, which necessarily involves value, awareness, and
    > intellect.)
    > Ian said:
    > Q/q - There absolutely is no doubt Dynamics is lost without the static
    > latches - they depend on each other to be where they are. But, anyone
    > trying to be radical is going to tend to favour DQ - it's more
    > exciting, sexy, risky, etc. Anyone being passive and conservative,
    > would have little reason to have an opinion on the matter let alone
    > post one to a discussion board. We are a self-selecting bunch. Except
    > Platt that is, whose reason to contribute is to have fun taunting the
    > radicals :-) - but that makes him perversely Q IMHO. In other words,
    > Q/q is just human nature.
    > Scott:
    > My objection to the privileging of DQ over SQ is not about debates over
    > radicalism vs. conservatism. In the first place, it is not at all obvious
    > who is radical and who is conservative, as Platt pointed out not too long
    > ago. Plus there is the issue of degeneracy. Anyway, what I am complaining
    > about is on a metaphysical level. It is not about static latches and change,
    > but about the way Pirsig uses the concepts. In essence, he is using DQ as a
    > substitute for the formless, and SQ as a substitute for form, in Buddhism.
    > He then privilieges the formless, as the "driving edge", leaving form in its
    > wake. But this is contrary to the Heart Sutra that "form is not other than
    > formlessness, formlessness is not other than form". That is, the MOQ has
    > reified DQ, by not exploring the issue in the further depth that leads to
    > the Heart Sutra message. In short, the MOQ becomes metaphysical in the bad
    > sense of the word (as Matt, and I think you, see it) with all its talk of
    > the "undifferentiated aesthetic continuum" (Northrop's phrase, taken over
    > into the MOQ), "pre-intellectual" or "pure" experience, and so forth. As
    > long as DQ is privileged metaphysically over SQ one will not get an answer
    > to Mike's query. That answer is, of course, that DQ is not other than SQ,
    > and SQ is not other than DQ.
    > Ian said:
    > So rather than abandoning MoQ - just swap out Metaphysics for Model. A
    > good useful working model of the real world (including human nature,
    > by gad.) But nothing fundamantally metaphysical. There is no
    > metaphysics anyway - MoQ is simply the best of a misguided bunch.
    > Scott:
    > Ok, on to the baby and bathwater question. I accept the MOQ premise that
    > value is all-pervasive. But this is a given from any religious outlook. I
    > accept the MOQ claim that the intellectual trumps the social, but any
    > intellectual will say that (it is also Catholic doctrine, so it's hardly
    > new). But as I see it, value implies awareness of value, and choice, all of
    > which implies intellect. So I reject the nominalist, anti-intellectual bias
    > of the MOQ, with respect to DQ. Specifically, I reject the view that the
    > intellectual is the fourth level of SQ. And I reject it because it is a
    > completely inadequate account of intellect, and therefore also of human
    > nature. And, see above, I reject the version of "philosophical mysticism"
    > which is the basis of the MOQ. That version (of more-or-less neo-Romantic
    > origin, as exemplified by Northrop and Watts ) is itself a case of a static
    > rut that one needs to move beyond. And the tool for moving beyond it is the
    > LCI. So I disagree with your characterization that the MOQ is a useful
    > model, especially when it comes to human nature, and I am far from seeing
    > the MOQ as the best of a misguided bunch.
    > - Scott
    > MOQ.ORG -
    > Mail Archives:
    > Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    > Nov '02 Onward -
    > MD Queries -
    > To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    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 : Thu May 26 2005 - 03:23:26 BST