Re: MD Does she or not?

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Sat Aug 02 2003 - 22:56:58 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "RE: MD Intellectual level"

    > DMB said:
    > You haven't given us one good reason why anyone should think Pirsig means
    > she does when he says she doesn't. ..After the smoke clears I can see that
    > there is still no good reason.
    > Steve replied:
    > I disagree, and I'm anxious to hear some "good reasons" to support your
    > interpretation in light of Platt's list of quotes on whether she does or not
    > which are consistent with my interpretation.
    > dmb says:
    > Hmmm. That's almost an answer. You think the quotes support your
    > interpretation? Please show me how. Show me your reasoning. Don't just
    > assert it or declare it. Take me from the quote to your conclusion; that
    > Lila has intellectual quality. I don't think you can get there from here.

    Lila doesn't have intellectual quality. Nor does she have social quality or
    biological quality or inorganic quality (whatever that would mean, and if
    you, too, can't make sense of a person having inorganic quality then you may
    also want to rethink your "types of people" interpretation of the levels).
    When Pirsig uses such descriptions, he is using a less technical application
    than when he talks about patterns of value, but you seem to read all of his
    patterns of value talk back into a types of people interpretation.

    When Pirsig discussed the question, "does Lila have quality?" he ultimately
    corrected himself and said that, technically, Quality has Lila. In other
    words, Lila is a forest of static patterns. She does not have intellectual
    quality in the sense of having high intellectual quality. On the contrary,
    Lila participates in some extremely low quality intellectual patterns of
    value like believing her doll is a baby. (You didn't want to accept high
    and low quality within a given level, but Platt's quotes directly contradict

    I'm simply arguing that Lila participates in intellectual patterns of value
    as does any human being according to the quotes supplied by Rick on the
    subject and the fact that Pirsig defines intellect as simply thinking, not
    that Lila is an intellectual.

    Does she think or not? It doesn't matter what she thinks about. I know that
    she doesn't see intellectual quality at all. In other words, she doesn't
    think about thinking. She's not aware that she participates in intellectual
    patterns. She's doesn't have a philosophical bone in her body, but she
    thinks nonetheless.

    > chapter 13:
    > "Does Lila have Quality? Biologically she does, socially she doesn't.
    > Obviously! Evolutionary morality just splits that whole question open like a
    > watermelon. .. Biologicall she's fine, socially she's pretty far down the
    > chapter 17:
    > "She missed the whole point of everything. She's after Quality, like
    > everybody else, but she defines it entirely in biological terms. She DOESN'T
    > SEE INTELLECTUAL QUALITY AT ALL. Its outside her range. She doesn't even see
    > social quality."

    In the first quote, you see high and low quality referenced as you did in
    the many quotes provided by Platt. It's a scale that she's far down on.
    He's not talking about an on/off switch. 'Nowhere' is an exaggeration of
    her position on the scale. It means to me that she is even worse off
    intellectually than she is socially. It makes as much sense to interpret it
    this way as to see that, "she doesn't even see social quality" and "socially
    she's pretty far down the scale" don't contradict one another.

    Simply thinking (though hopefully not thinking as simply as Lila does),

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