MD A little philosophology ?

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Sat Aug 02 2003 - 11:55:08 BST

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    Hands up who's read FSC Northrop's "The Meeting of East and West" (1946)

    I've just started it, and already hooked because he is straight into the
    pragmatic effects of the Catch-22 of the recursive argument we were having,
    about how absolute can a metaphysics be that includes it's own definition
    (if I may paraphrase a few yards of posts). [Quote] the basic paradox of our
    time [is that] "sound" theory tends to destroy the state of affairs it aims
    to achieve [Unquote]
    (His scare quotes, not mine)
    (Paradox, used in the natural language form of "apparent inconsistency" - my
    scare quotes this time)

    ANYWAY, my main Pirsig related point is this ...

    Chapter 7 is all about culture and Greek science. The main references are
    McKeon, Hutchins and Adler, right from the opening para. (I skipped to Ch7
    from Ch1 after stumbling across the references at the end !).
    Not only is it about these people, it's about Hutchins switch from "legal
    realism" (dialectic with value based inputs) as Dean of Yale Law School to
    "what is needed is more adequate scientific grounded
    [Aristoletian]philosophy" as Dean of Chicago University. In fact he was
    looking for an objective "idea of the good". A metaphyisics of quality
    perhaps ?

    Interesting that a Pirsig who reads, and is thoroughly influenced by
    Northrop aged 20, on a troopship in 1948, is shocked (nay, incensed) to find
    out about McKeon and "the Hutchins mob" [after Rorty] at Chicago University,
    aged 33 during the summer of 1961, after he hs been accepted there and
    interviewed by McKeon.

    I expect the scholars alreay know all of this, but very interesting,
    philosophologically speaking anyway. I'd hate to see history repeat itself
    yet again, and see MOQ'ites looking for that objectivity that takes the
    quality out of MoQ. :-)

    Ian Glendinning

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