RE: MD Metaphysics and Pragmatism

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Mon Feb 17 2003 - 00:59:35 GMT

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    Matt and all:

    Matt said:
    I think I know what you mean now when you say, "I [DMB] guess your [Matt]
    style doesn't work for me." If you have as much trouble trying to read my
    posts as I just had reading yours, then no wonder we usually talk past each

    Dmb says:

    Matt said:
    Uh, I guess I just don't quite see the point of your last post. I mean,
    you make a convincing enough case for perennial philosophy in Pirsig and
    for it not being a foundation.

    DMB says:
    You got it. That WAS the point. Or more specifically, I thought the use of
    the pp and such might make it look foundational, and tried to show how it

    Matt continued: .........Certainly I agree ... As I see it, you aren't
    arguing with me, really, but with people like Platt and Bo. They see the
    MoQ as giving us the correct reading of reality that will allow us to use
    reason to decide moral disputes once and for all.

    DMB says:
    I'd ask you to entertain the possibility that such a reading does not
    accurately reflect the MOQ, the possiblity that any moral absolutism seen
    there is in the reading and not the MOQ.

    Matt said:
    I think the issue is whether Pirsig thinks he's found the correct final
    vocabulary that reality wishes we would just get on and describe it as or
    whether Pirsig thinks he is just offering us one more way of describing
    reality. I'm pretty sure I remember reading in Lila once a line like, "The
    MoQ exists whether we know it or not," or something along those lines (for
    the life of me I can't remember where it was). If that line exists, or
    lines like it, then support is given to the Platt/Bo interpretation. If
    they don't, and we are only left with the lines I like such as, "saying
    that a Metaphysics of Quality is false and a subject-object metaphysics is
    true is like saying that rectangular coordinates are true and polar
    coordinates are false," (Ch. 8) then we are left with support for a
    pragmatist reading.

    DMB says:
    I think there are lots of explicit Pirsigisms like this one. He says its not
    that the MOQ is any truer than SOM in any abosolute Hegalian sense, whatever
    that is, its just that the MOQ explain more of the world and explains it
    better. He says all our intellectual constructs are provisional, good only
    until something better comes along. He refers to philosophies as if they
    were just so many paintings hanging in a gallery. To explore philosophy and
    philosophers, he says, start with the ones you like, the ones you already
    agree with. He's loaded Lila up with sassy stuff like that. I don't know if
    I would have thought to call this a pragmatist reading, I just think its

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