Re: MD About Quality.

Date: Thu Feb 20 2003 - 17:00:00 GMT

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    Matt said:
    But if you wanted one example of what I think I may have helpfully pointed
    out to some people, it is that Quality is not an essence. It is an

    Sq: 1. Essences belong in a substance based metaphysics. The MoQ is not a
    substance based metaphysics.

    Great point. Thank goodness I agreed with it.

    Squonk: You feel there is a metaphysics of anti-essence? No metaphysics?
    Quality is not what it isn't? If there is something Quality isn't then what
    is it that Quality is not? If you avoid using the term Quality then there
    must be a coherent reason for it: Would using the term Quality mean you have
    become dogmatic? Does using the prefix 'anti' before everything keep you open
    to that which is pragmatic? If so, why not explore why the pragmatic is as it
    is? Could it be because of Quality? Then why not us the term Quality?

    But, to state more explicitly where I disagree with Pirsig, I disagree in
    his choice of the word "metaphysics" to describe what he is doing. In the
    sense of metaphysics that I prefer, and that I consider more useful,
    metaphysics is what Pirsig is destroying in his attacks on SOM.

    Squonk: Pirsig does not attack SoM as such. SoM is real; Pirsig shows it to
    be real in a more inclusive and pragmatic context of the MoQ.

    What is left is more appropriately called "philosophy" in the wide sense that
    Pirsig uses when he describes Lincoln as his favorite philosopher (see his
    "Letter to the Lila Squad").

    Squonk: Or maybe a metaphysics of Quality.

    I have argued quite long about this, and quite recently, so I hesitate to go
    back into it.

    Squonk: Size is not everything.

    Sq: 3. Static patterns evolve towards DQ. DQ does not evolve. Experience
    composed of static patterns evolves, but DQ is unpatterned.

    That's one interpretation.

    Squonk: No. It is how it is.

    I would choose not to hypostatize DQ by saying
    that it does not evolve.

    Squonk: And here we go again. I, I, I, I, I.

    By combining "Static patterns evolve towards DQ"
    with "DQ does not evolve" you come dangerously close to interpreting DQ
    like a Hegelian Absolute.

    Squonk: Why is this dangerous? You are going to die one day and that's quite

    Hegel had a historico-dialectical system like
    Pirsig's, but he put Absolute Spirit as the end point. This seem like a
    needless invocation of essence to pragmatists.

    Squonk: All this Hegel stuff is fine and dandy and all that Matt. And now we
    all know how clever you are, and how much you know and everything. But
    remember Quality at all? No? Not interested?

    The only purpose I see in
    this is that way we can compare our current practices with some absolute.
    I would interpret DQ as fluid. Static patterns evolve and we call it when
    they evolve "Dynamic Quality."
    Either way, I don't see how your interpretation differs all that much from
    mine and I certainly don't see how it could be fatal.

    Squonk: Blimey! You came dangerously close to saying something relevant
    there! "Static patterns evolve and we call it when they evolve "Dynamic
    Quality." But you are a cheeky little Monkey aren't you Matt? You have
    phrased this carefully i see, so that you say, "...we call it..." It's a
    current practise to be saying this? It's just a way of coping? The MoQ is a
    current practical way of coping? Like, when a Zen master looses his arrow
    he's just coping?


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