Re: MD Does she or not?

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Sun Aug 03 2003 - 06:02:45 BST

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    Hi DMB,
    >> dmb said:
    >> 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.
    > Steve said:
    > 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.
    > dmb says:
    > He corrected himself and said she has quality? Intellectual quality? I'd
    > like to see that.

    No, that's not what I said. She doesn't have intellectual quality. Pirsig
    said that Quality has Lila.

    > Anyway, let me say something about
    > "low quality intellectual patterns". I don't think its quite right to call
    > Lila's belief in her doll by that label. Such a belief isn't intellectual at
    > all, high, low or otherwise. That belief just doesn't fit into the 4th
    > level. By intellectual standards her belief holds no value whatsoever except
    > as a diagnosic tool to get at her mental illness, just as the captain did.
    > This is why I objected to "horrible intellectual values". Its all quality,
    > all four levels of static quality, and so its all good and valuable. The
    > evolutionary morality, the one that splits the question of Lila wide open
    > like a watermelon, says we out to look at the world in terms of different
    > kinds of quality. So of course Lila is after quality too, the question is
    > WHAT KIND?

    I agree that she is not after intellectual or social quality. She is
    dominated by biological value. There is no disagreement on dominance or what
    type of person she is.

    > Steve said:
    > 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.
    > dmb says:
    > I asked you to take me from the quotes to your conclusion, but all you did
    > was mention then and re-assert the conclusion. Then you add a most dubious
    > definition, from a different book and from a different unmentioned context.
    > And this is then used to conclude that Pirsig acutally meant the opposite of
    > what he said; that she's has none. I'm a little freaked out that nobody
    > seems to have a problem with this kind of work. I think that is awfully
    > sloppy and thin. In any case, I still can't see how you got there.

    I don't see why I need to restate the arguments that others have already

    >I honestly don't know how you
    > could, or why you'd want to, seperate people from the equation.

    I don't. I just don't equate types of patterns of value with types of
    people. Can you see a difference?

    Do you think Lila can be convinced of something with a rational argument?
    Not at the point when she thought the doll was her baby, course. But before
    that, could she understand reasoning like 'to make French fries you'll have
    to buy some potatoes'? Could she see the value in that statement over the
    statement, 'to make French fries you'll have to read Kant'? Or the value of
    2+2=4 over 2+2=5? If so, then she responds to intellectual quality as all
    humans do. To me it's as simple as that. Simply thinking. Sure, it takes
    much more than that to earn societies label of being "an intellectual," but
    I'm talking about a species of value, not a social distinction.

    No animal will experience the low quality of an illogical statement, but any
    human adult will. What kind of quality could I be talking about in
    referring to an illogical statement or a rational one if not intellectual

    If Lila can value reason and give reasoned arguments to others then she
    participates in intellectual patterns of value to some degree as I
    understand the intellectual level. If you have a better definition, please
    tell me.

    Erin asked:
    How do you determine whether somebody has achieved the intellectual level?

    dmb said:
    By their words, deeds, desires, professed beliefs and such. Its not easy and
    nearly impossible unless you know that "somebody" pretty well. Its like
    trying to determine what motivates a person, or what they really value most.
    In fact, its exactly like that. I suppose that's why Lila has both
    well-known historical examples and well-drawn fictional examples.

    Steve says:
    Can you take this further so I may know what you think an intellectual
    pattern of value is?

    Is there a reason why you think it is important for the Lila character to
    not participate in intellectual patterns of value at all?


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