Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: Elizaphanian (
Date: Wed Feb 12 2003 - 09:09:42 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism"

    Hi Matt,

    As I'm sure you're aware I have much sympathy with your project, especially
    in relation to the distinction between ZMM's non-metaphysics and Lila's
    metaphysics. You write:

    > That the MoQ gives us a new Reason is something
    > that many people interpret Pirsig as doing in Lila. That does seem to be
    > what he's trying to do. But that is Phaedrus' project, not the
    > post-metaphysical narrator's. And Phaedrus wins in the end and then we
    > Lila. The intense ambiguity arises when we try and take the parts of ZMM
    > that the narrator espouses and say that those are good, too, along with
    > metaphysics of Lila. There are several ways out from this ambiguity. We
    > can either deflate the importance of what the narrator says and emphasize
    > the Pirsig of Lila (you can do this by saying that the narrator's good
    > parts are suggestions for social level values), or deflate the imporatance
    > of what Phaedrus says and emphasize the Pirsig of ZMM.

    Have you given any consideration to the mode of presentation in Lila; that
    is, that Phaedrus is one voice within a larger scheme? Is there any way in
    which this presentation, both of Phaedrus' ideas and of Phaedrus as a
    (somewhat deficient) individual is Pirsig's means of subtly undercutting the
    status of metaphysics?

    I don't have an answer to this question; nor do I have any particularly
    great insight into Pirsig's literary skills. It's just a suspicion that I
    keep coming back to, because Pirsig is clearly well aware of the futility of
    metaphysics (hence - keeping Quality undefined; see also the passage about
    metaphysics just before the conclusion "Not only would he never get it
    right; the longer he worked on it, the wronger it would probably get.")


    "I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my
    side, if you understand me... And there are some things, of course, whose
    side I'm altogether not on; I am against them altogether." -- Treebeard

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