RE: MD Lila's Child (Bo's metaphysics part 2)

From: Paul Turner (
Date: Thu Aug 07 2003 - 18:31:33 BST

  • Next message: "Re: MD Lila's Child (Bo's metaphysics part 1)"

    Part 2

    4. "Levels as ONE EQUAL VALUE" argument

    Bo writes:
    "That the MOQ started in Intellect and may still be there (as an
    unassimilated pattern) I accept, but it is the statement that
    Q-intellect is "the exact equivalent of mind" and its patterns are
    "thoughts" that I question. I even question if mind and/or thinking
    makes any sense at all within MOQ's grater framework - except as the
    VALUE of dividing reality into thoughts versus real world. Look to Sam
    and DMB on Wittgenstein about language's role in creating the illusion
    of a mind realm different from the real world."

    "Intellectual VALUE is splitting experience into SUBJECTIVE THINKING
    different from OBJECTIVE REALITY."

    "but the value increments are BETWEEN the levels not inside them. (Stop,
    hold your fire!) Take biology for example. A mammal is a more complex
    organism than a reptile, but when it comes to biological survival the
    latter is best. The "lower" patterns are most genuine biology, but the
    said value spawned biological growth until complexity was so great that
    one of its uppermost patterns took off ...on what became social purpose.
    And this goes for all levels."

    If this is true, how does Pirsig justify his statement in Lila about the
    morality of vegetarianism? Is a cow not at a higher biological level of
    evolution than a carrot?

    Why does he talk of intellectual patterns being "of higher quality" than
    others? Your "levels as all one equal value" leads to some limitations
    in the explanatory power of the MOQ (why was it better for homo erectus
    to evolve to homo sapiens?) and seems to diminish the applicability of
    its moral framework.

    5. "Container problem" argument

    Bo writes:
    "You see no problems with the MOQ being "an intellectual pattern"? Hmm.
    To me it's the "container problem"; the whole MOQ supposed to be
    contained inside a smaller box of one of its lesser parts and ooks like
    a logical bend and makes me postulate the MOQ as a "rebel" 4th or
    budding 5th level. (whatever is acceptable) because this makes the MOQ
    contained in itself which is "allowed" in my opinion."

    There is no logic to your solution. Even if the MOQ is a fifth level
    within its own structure you have the same "container problem". If the
    MOQ is not a static pattern within a level, what is it? According to the
    MOQ, it must be Dynamic Quality. This seems linked to the Metaphysics of
    Metaphysics postulate.

    6. "Static cannot be Dynamic, therefore intellect cannot be aesthetic"

    Bo writes:
    "As the present top level Intellect is our age's REASON and reason can
    neither explain Quality nor its many variants. That's the whole point of
    my insistence upon Q-intellect being S/OL (subject-object logic).
    Intellect can't explain any of these ambiguous yet unavoidable
    phenomena. It can't explain intelligence* in animals without reverting
    to the slanderous "instinct" term, it can't explain our sense of
    beauty..etc, .but places them all in its subjective box. Not part of
    I don't claim that the S/OL-intellect explains and/or support these
    outsider phenomena, on the contrary I claim that Q-intellect must be
    S/OL because it DOESN'T support them! This is the great fallacy to
    believe that a STATIC level may contain/explain/support the dynamic
    aspects of existence and is why I am a little exasperated over the
    "thinking"/ "manipulation of symbols" intellect as if this is capable of
    integrating them ...... Come to think of it, even "thinking" is one
    One may as well wish for an intellect that could explain/contain DQ
    itself ...and that is the next fallacy. Calling the MOQ an intellectual

    Intellect is a STATIC level per definition and on page 167 in LILA
    Pirsig says:
    "..Finally there's a dynamic morality which isn't a code, he supposed
    you could call it a code of Art." In other words Aesthetics, sense of
    Beauty ...along with the rest of the many-splendour DQ don't fit
    anywhere inside the static hierarchy. Why not admit that Intellect is a
    STATIC level and stop this futile chase after one's own tail, namely a
    fancy enough intellect to explain DQ and its many aspects.

    The below paragraph touches the essence of it all.
    > I have yet to find anyone who has made a clear
    distinction between
    > intellectual patterns that belong in the
    intellectual level and those
    > that don't. (Intuitive intellect is an oxymoron.).
    If there are
    > intellectual patterns that don't belong, where do
    they go instead?

    Yes, "intuitive intellect" is an oxymoron as is the thinking intellect.
    They are all facets of existence's dynamics - DQ called - and don't
    belong in the static hierarchy - intellect least of all.
    All this does not violate Pirsig's claim that an encyclopedia of the
    four STATIC levels would cover everything except DQ because the said
    phenomena are facets of DQ. Efforts to define an intellect that includes
    these is counter to the MOQ, and I simply can't understand the
    annotating Pirsig about the MOQ being a pattern of its own intellectual
    pattern, nor do I understand various suggestions from other people about
    removing intellect, changing its name ...about adding more intellects,
    about intellect's values being social, and so on ad nauseam. All such
    are patch-ups of our inability to let go of SOM."

    I think that static quality can be defined as patterned aesthetic,
    Dynamic Quality is therefore unpatterned aesthetic, and Quality is both.
    When you use the static intellectual symbols "aesthetic" and "beauty",
    why do we understand you? What makes a poem different to a car manual?

    Remember the essay question Pirsig set in Bozeman - What is Quality in
    thought and statement?

    What is the "art of motorcycle maintenance"?

    What does Pirsig mean when he wrote the passage below?

    " of the reasons I have spent so much time in this paper describing
    the personal relationship of Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr in the
    development of quantum theory is that although the world views science
    as a sort of plodding, logical, methodical advancement of knowledge,
    what I saw here were two artists in the throes of creative discovery.
    They were at the cutting edge of knowledge plunging into the unknown
    trying to bring something out of that unknown into a static form that
    would be of value to everyone, as Bohr might have loved to observe,
    science and art are just two different complementary ways of looking at
    the same thing." SODV p.17

    I think that overlooking the aesthetic nature of static experience,
    including intellectual patterns, is a major misunderstanding of Pirsig,
    especially ZMM!

    Hope this helps


    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Aug 07 2003 - 18:37:13 BST