RE: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: Matt the Enraged Endorphin (
Date: Thu Feb 13 2003 - 00:30:36 GMT

  • Next message: Matt the Enraged Endorphin: "Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism"

    Scott, Kevin,

    As Kevin's already correctly assumed, I do agree with the general thrust of
    what Scott says. I think the confusion is that I think the "absolutist"
    interpretation of the MoQ, which Scott, Kevin, Jonathan, and I all eschew,
    is a very reasonable interpretation with ample evidence. So, I, too, would
    wish that we grasp the MoQ as one context among many, not as the ultimate
    context from which answers can be churned out from, but I refrain from
    saying that it can't be turned towards absolutist ends.

    The main part where Scott and I disagree is that I think part of what gives
    the absolutist interpretation some of its ammo is the use of metaphysics to
    describe what we are doing when using Pirsigian language. Pace Scott and
    Wim, I don't think metaphysics can be usefully rehabilitated. I think that
    if the Metaphysics of Quality doesn't suffer from Dewey's attack, then it
    can no longer be usefully described as a Metaphysics. Contra Scott, I
    don't think metaphysics is something that is inescapable. Whereas Scott
    would co-opt Sellars' definition of philosophy and conflate it with
    metaphysics, I would say that Pirsig (at his best, pace Platt and Scott)
    and Rorty are doing philosophy, but not metaphysics.

    So, I like it when Kevin calls Lila an "open diary." It is exactly the
    image I think we need to foster of Lila and the MoQ. Pirsig wrote out his
    at times quite metaphysical approach to coping with the problems of being
    an American in a globalizing world and we look on and pick up the tools we
    like from it, the private tools that turn out to be relevant to us. If it
    turns out that some of Pirsig's tools towards private self-perfection end
    up having public use, then we can literalize them and set them to work.
    But only time will tell on this count, and my bet is against it.


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