Re: MD Does she or not?

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Sun Aug 10 2003 - 17:29:55 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD Does she or not?"

    Hi DMB,
    > Steve said to Johnny:
    > Whether dogs or apes are capable of learning is this social way and passing
    > on a culture is an interesting question. I don't rule it out based on
    > Pirsig's quote because I don't see him as speaking ex cathedra on this
    > matter since he is presumably not an expert in zoology. I suspect the
    > biological requirements for developing social patterns depends in part on
    > "the mammalian brain" which includes a capacity for emotions which I'm sure
    > that dog's have.
    > dmb says:
    > But Steve, my problem is that youwrote it right after reading Pirsig's
    > comments on the matter...
    >>> "'Societies' is used figuratively here as a more colorful word meaning
    >>> 'groups.' If I had known it would be taken literally as evidence that
    >>> cells belong in the social level I would not have used it. Maybe in a
    >>> future edition it can be struck out. One can also call ants and bees
    >>> "social" insects, but for purposes of precision in the MOQ social
    >>> patterns should be defined as HUMAN and subjective." (emphasis added)
    > dmb says:
    > Clearly, Pirsig is saying that the MOQ's 3rd level is a human thing. Steve,
    > you then suggest that the social level in animals is an open question. NO.
    > NO. NO its not! Pirsig doesn't own the world of ideas and he's not a
    > biological scientist, but he still gets to define his own terms and he's
    > telling us quite flatly that including animals in this category is a
    > mistake. Sure, you softened and qualified Johnny's mistake to some extent,
    > but I think its only fair to accept what the author says about his own
    > creation. The third level applies only to humans. Period. I bring this up
    > because it reminds me so much of our original dispute. This kind of thing is
    > a show stopper. You still insist that Lila can percieve intellectual quality
    > in spite of the author's assertions...

    I were talking about something quite different from Lila's participation in
    intellectual patterns. In that case we were discussing our different
    interpretations of the many things Pirsig said about Lila and all human
    beings. In this case we agree on our interpretations of Pirsig's words.
    Pirsig is saying that the social level as he uses it only applies to humans.

    But, I think it's okay to disagree with Pirsig now and then, don't you?
    Doesn't the little angel on your shoulder that represents your conscience
    for your intellectual morality tell you that you shouldn't simply accept
    someone's word for it no matter how much you respect them? Isn't that the
    intellectual over social morality conflict in a nutshell?

    The "ex cathedra" reference and implied comparison to Pirsig as pope of the
    MOQ was meant to suggest that there are matters where if we disagree with
    Pirsig's interpretation of the MOQ then we are not really talking about the
    MOQ anymore (e.g. We can't disagree that Experience = Quality and was born
    of a virgin), but that there are other matters where we can disagree.

    I'm sure Pirsig would make no claims to infallibility and would have little
    respect for someone who takes his word for gospel.

    I think the quote above in LC was meant to emphasize that a society in the
    sense of a social pattern of value is not just a group biological entities.
    I agree with that completely. I'm simply not sure that I agree that
    thinking about social patterns can't be applied to other species. I will
    have to give that more thought. I'll take Pirsig's words on the matter into
    account, but I'll think for myself. It's the intellectually moral thing to
    do, isn't it?


    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 : Sun Aug 10 2003 - 17:35:44 BST