RE: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Feb 16 2003 - 02:20:27 GMT

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD Pirsig's conception of ritual"

    Sam, Matt, Kevin and Scott and all:

    Sam said:
    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?

    Yeah, kinda' like it might be possible that the use of Socrates undercuts
    any Platonic attempt to hypostatize. The subtle undercuttings is in
    particular how I read Pirsig when he says Phaedrus is a "mild-mannered
    hyperintellectual." But even with subtle undercuts, it is hard to keep a
    straight face and say, "Pirsig has zero tensions between a
    post-metaphysical pragmatist pose and a Platonic, metaphysical pose."
    Scott and Platt want to argue that metaphysics is just another name for
    philosophy, thus possibly making some of these tensions disappear, but I
    still hold out for keeping them seperate and I still think that even in
    this reading many of the tensions remain.

    DMB says:
    First of all, Matt, sorry for bugging you. I guess your style doesn't work
    for me. Thanks to Kevin and Scott I have a better idea of what you're
    talking about. I might look kinda thick-headed on this stuff, but its mostly
    becasue my head is full of an entirely different way to view the issue. As
    Wilber paints it, absolutisms and other rigid ways of thinking are not
    inherent in any view or philosophy, but such is a function of pychological
    and cognitive development. Basically, the higher level cognitive functions
    move away from literal and logical thinking and the poetic fluidity of
    thought increases as one developes. That is really what it comes down to,
    isn't it? The ferocity and rigidity with which we believe our beleifs? Its
    ok to believe it so long as you don't really, really beleive it. This is
    where the word "metaphysics" starts to mean "supernatual" or "ultimate
    reality" instead of the branch of philosophy that looks at the big picture.
    I just don't see the absolutists in Pirsig. Sam and others have come up with
    very clever reasons to believe otherwise. We could point out the fifth moral
    code, the one that puts creativity at Dynamic change at the top of the heap.
    He could point to his refusal to define DQ. There's no doubt. He's the
    reluctant metaphysician.

    Think of Rigel and all his questions and objections. He sort of takes the
    place of the critics Pirsig took most seriously. Mostly they accused him of
    being vague. I think the question was plain but HUGE, "How do keep Quality
    from being just whatever you like?" This is the difference between ZMM and
    Lila and fairly well get at the tension you speak of, between the
    metaphysical and post-metaphysical poses. (Although I would be so dramatic
    about it) I think ZMM tells the reader that reality is Quality. And the
    reader says, "Cool. What do mean?" The MOQ answers the question in some
    detail, but repeatedly cautions all explanations are provisional and
    philosophy really can't and shouldn't try to capture DQ, his word for the
    ultimate. He's just trying to explain himself to the Rigels of the world, to
    us. He shifts his views only by inches from ZMM to Lila. Mostly he just gets
    more specific, draws some important distinctions, and thereby makes the
    whole idea much more useful. The MOQ doesn't just say, "its all good". Its
    says, "Some things are better than others and here's why...."

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archive -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Feb 16 2003 - 02:20:05 GMT