Re: MD Undeniable Facts

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Apr 18 2003 - 13:29:32 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"

    Hi Matt:

    > Platt said:
    > Unfortunately, postmodern types want us to live in a world of words rather
    > than a world of experiencies. To them it's all about language, verbiage and
    > spin. I'm with you in asserting as an undeniable fact that "the words you
    > receive from me cannot recreate the experience for you." But to pomos, your
    > experiences don't count. It's what your group agrees on that's more
    > meaningful that your personal experience. If you happen to disagree with
    > the group, you're brushed off as "outdated" and "useless."
    > Matt:
    > Deny, deny, deny, deny, definitely deny. Wow, Platt, I figured you would
    > notice that I'm probably in the minority around here. Does that mean I'm
    > "outdated." Well, maybe "useless" by your lights.

    Those are your lights, not mine. How many times have the brushed off a
    point of view as "not useful," including metaphysics itself? "Outdated"
    is from your post of 4/15 where you dismiss Pirsig's "conversation." and
    by implication, all who find it high quality. As for you being in the
    minority, maybe would we should take a poll. Again, you bring up group
    identity as somehow being important.

    > Platt said:
    > True. But keep in mind that Matt doesn't believe in objective truth.
    > Matt:
    > Den--wait, true.
    > Platt said:
    > I don't see a contradiction. A point of view only occurs when the view is
    > conceptualized. Prior to concepts (and words expressing those concepts) is
    > a world of pure direct experience--the primary "context" if you will. As
    > you correctly point out, language is derivative from experience. Those who
    > see language as the end all and be all live in a second-hand world of
    > "vocabularies" and group identities. They never experience the reality
    > which "passeth all understanding" because if they admitted to such a
    > reality, their argot world would crumble.
    > Matt:
    > Right, you don't see a contradiction. That's the exact point. _You_
    > shouldn't see a contradiction. I'm the one who should. Just as you can
    > say, "if they admitted to such a reality, their argot world would crumble,"
    > I can say that if you did accept a few of my positions, like contingency,
    > your "argot world would crumble" because it would start to strain the other
    > beliefs in your web. But, hey, its your web. Do with it what you will.

    Agree. You make the point that I and others have repeatedly made--that
    all thoughts and "webs of belief" begin with unprovable presuppositions
    based on faith. As I've written before, one of the major jobs of philosophy
    is to bring such assumptions into the clear light of day. What Pirsig
    adds is that some faith is better placed than others. I find the faith you
    place in "contingency," luck, fortune, accident, chance (as Wilber says,
    "The philosophy of oops.") to be full of emptiness, leading to an
    "anything goes" morality and power politics. We are now reaping the
    whirlwind of that presumption in the decline in American culture that
    Pirsig identifies in Lila. You'll recall Pirsig's words,"Today we are living
    in an intellectual and technological paradise and a moral and social
    nightmare . . ." (24) Go to any college today and you'll find moral
    relativism to be accepted wisdom.

    > Oh, wait. By your lights, that's a very unpostmodern thing to say. I have
    > to remember, we postmoderns are oh so concerned with what others think. We
    > weren't the ones ostracized for years by the academic community. We
    > suddenly appeared and took it over by our massive strength and evil appeal.
    > I've got to start acting more postmodern or I'll get kicked out of the
    > club. Okay, I'm new to this, so excuse my awkwardness: Platt, your
    > personal experience does not count. You must ... hold on, I gotta' look at
    > my notes ... agree with the group. The group is more meaningful than you.
    > Never mind that that doesn't make sense. I mean, how can something have
    > more meaning than something else? Don't things just have "meaning," are
    > all "full of meaning." But wait, I gotta' go with the group. So, Platt,
    > you are wrong because the group is right. You are outdated and useless
    > and, wait, what's that? How do I know what the group thinks? Well, I
    > guess we'll have to take a poll. Because that's what postmoderns must do.
    > Take a lot of polls. Else, how would they know?

    That's quite a ramble. And a bit incoherent. Are you saying pomos don't
    care what the group thinks? Then tell me, what's all this about
    "intersubjective agreement?"


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