Re: MD Pirsig, Falck, and Wolfram

From: james marshall (
Date: Thu Aug 14 2003 - 13:37:32 BST

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    -------Original Message-------
    Date: August 14, 2003 2:45:00 AM
    Subject: Re: MD Pirsig, Falck, and Wolfram
     Hi folks, my name is Jim and this is my first posting here. In my
    retirement I gave myself a project - to learn the history of western
    philosophy. In "Lila" Pirsig suggests that the best way for me to do this
    is to enter my project with some ideas of my own and then compare my ideas
    with those of the philosophers I read. (can't read them all, not even all
    the "great" ones - far as I can tell I only have one lifetime). He says that
    I will find some that support me. He also says to be aware of being seduced
      Philosophers are very persuasive people. I have found that my primary
    idea is pretty sound in the face of the challenges to it. My idea? There
    is no such thing as an object. I am now, in view of Buber's "I - Thou"
    considering changing my idea to: "Live as if there is no such thing as an
    object, all is subject." Yeah, I know, animistic.

    Aha! Attitude. A metaphysics of attitude perhaps. An old friend told me:
    Attitude is the key to everything. It felt right at the time. It still

    There is a word in Lila that Pirsig uses - mean (meanness). He uses it in
    his attack against moralyzers. The character, Lila, uses it often.
    Remember L'il Abner? Mammy Yokum said, "Good is better than evil because it
    s nicer." That feels right too. There's some kind of an identity/unity
    between Lila's and Mammy Yokum's attitude. It feels right. It feels good.
    As Pirsig said in the last sentence of ZAMM, "You can sort of tell these
    >(Hi Lars - I'm a DQ party-pooper here, I believe "DQ" is used as a
    >religious fudge factor to introduce subjective opinion into any discourse,
    >as well as a 7th Calvary to weasel out of tight spots in arguments about
    >the metaphysics. If you want to justify breaking a moral pattern, just
    >cite "DQ" and you're all set. If something is contradictory or
    >tautological, just cite "DQ" and your all set. I do see a role for
    >something that can be called DQ in the creation of new patterns when
    >existing patterns cross paths, but I see it as completely deterministic,
    >its creations entirely the necessary result of other static patterns.)
    Hi Johnny- sounds interesting. One thing that struck me reading 'Lila' is
    that from the point of view of the static, social level of 'Quality',
    disruption can come from either above or below; from 'Dynamic Quality' or
    'the biological level.' It seems to me that an old Western (at least)
    paradigm is to associate DQ and bQ; they are seen as one force, creative and
    destructive, which exists in uneasy dialectic with the SQ of society. The
    Freudian and post-Freudian id, for example. 'Lila' is apparently DQ, but it
    is also the dance, the symbol of the bodily and erotic life.
    Deterministic dynamism sounds more Stephen Wolfram-like to me.
    By the way, are 'static' and 'dynamic' taken from Bergson?
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