RE: MD Lila's Child (Bo's metaphysics part 1)

Date: Sat Aug 09 2003 - 06:25:17 BST

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    Welcome back Paul.

    On 7 Aug. you wrote:
    > Back sooner than I thought! Whilst I've been away (taking care of my
    > new baby daughter :-)) I've had a couple of discussions with Bo about
    > his problems with Pirsig. I noticed several strands of dispute which I
    > have summarised for debate.

    The problem is how much can be "reproduced" to keep things within
    limits? I choose to omit a lot.

    1. "HISTORICAL EPOCH" argument.

    Me previously:
    > "In ancient - "social level" - times there was no irrational/rational
    > distinction. What we call 'mysterious' or 'magical' was an integrated
    > part of the total experience; the dead were living in another world,
    > it was possible to "persuade" reality to yield to one's wishes by
    > rituals....etc. Existence was animated as we say. To them such terms
    > had no meaning of course; It was THE INTELLECTUAL LEVEL which hammered
    > the irrational/rational, subjective/objective wedge through this
    > holistic existence and created a new reality of mind and matter of
    > subjective thoughts different from the objective world. This must be
    > understood to understand why a definition of Q-intellect supposed to
    > cover "non-S/O thinking" is counter to the MOQ. Intellect IS the
    > "thinking/world" distinction itself!"
    > I think the weakness of this argument lies in the use of speculative
    > interpretation of historical events and psychology as a premise for
    > your argument instead of empirical experience.

    If we aren't to talk about the past, because it's "speculative" the rest is
    silence. The "psychology" part I think we drop.

    > When the levels are seen primarily as "real" epochs with a definite
    > historical "cut-over", the intellectual "epoch" is often described as
    > beginning in ancient Greece with the emergence of Greek philosophy. It
    > seems counter-intuitive that, up until the time of the ancient Greek
    > philosophers, people did not think; therefore Pirsig's definition of
    > intellect as "simply thinking" and "the same as mind" doesn't make
    > sense. One common solution to this is to redefine the intellectual
    > level and to introduce the notion of "social level mind" or "social
    > level thinking". This then restricts "intellectual thinking" to
    > substance based philosophy, reason, science and logic, as that is the
    > thinking which seems to have started in Greece.

    My only "speculation" is making the social epoch sound like Eden and
    intellect as an expulsion, otherwise I can't see that you have
    undermined it at all, and I am most pleased with your observations
    that in such a view the intellectual "epoch" starts with the Greeks, and
    it also looks as if you see the efforts to counter it as futile. Great!

    2. "METAPHYSICS IS REALITY" argument.
    Me prev (to Rick).:
    > "Here we go again about the map metaphor. Is there a terrain that the
    > SOM and the MOQ are maps over? In my opinion not, a metaphysics IS the
    > ultimate reality and we end up in the infinite regress problem here
    > unless that is heeded."

    > By equating metaphysics with ultimate reality, you equate metaphysics
    > with Quality. As Quality is the empirical SOURCE of everything,
    > including metaphysics, metaphysics logically comes AFTER Quality, and
    > as such, cannot be synonymous, otherwise there would be no need to
    > make a distinction. You are postulating a Metaphysics of Metaphysics.

    I quit the map argument with Rick because I lost the tread and am not
    sure if I'm able to pick it up again, but in LC it takes this form: Pirsig
    maintains that all is human experience (#37) which is as obvious as
    that all we say are words, but in #102 he says that DQ is outside it.
    You and Rick will say that this is the proof of the terrain-as-different-
    from-the-map argument, while I maintain that as DQ solely appears in
    the MOQ it means that the MOQ is no (integrated) intellectual pattern.
    Here we are on different premises.

    3. "MOQ IS NOT JUST A THOUGHT" argument

    Me prev.:
    > "And the annotating Pirsig hasn't helped much. For example by first
    > saying this....
    > > "The main danger to the MOQ from subject-object
    > > thinking at present seems to be when it tries in a
    > > conventional way to encase values and declare them
    > > to be either objects or thoughts. Lila's Child p503
    (from a letter to Anthony McWatt)

    > ...and then go on to defining Q-intellect as "thinking" and saying
    > that the MOQ is just another intellectual pattern ...a THOUGHT which
    > he calls the greatest danger to the MOQ."
    > Paul:
    > I think you make this argument because you have misinterpreted
    > Pirsig's statement. Pirsig is stating that the main danger to the MOQ
    > is when S/O thinking tries to encase Quality and declare it to be
    > exclusively in objects or exclusively in thoughts, when it is prior to
    > and fundamental to both. Remember the "dilemma" in ZMM?

    It is the ZMM dilemma I remember when saying that "...defining
    intellect as "thinking" ...etc." becomes the very same danger that
    Pirsig warns against. If it is the "O" part you miss it follows suit making
    the rest of the levels "objective".

    Continued in part 2

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