RE: MD A metaphysics - Bootstrapping

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 23:54:08 BST

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    All you've done is provide me with another quote from a book with which I'm
    already very familiar.
    Where was the value-add in that ? (Pragmatist alert !)

    I think this is just a matter of perspective.
    I think everything he wrote (in ZMM) suggests he is a pragmatist,
    pragmatically speaking anyway. Much of Lila seems to be a response to
    "serious (philosophical) critics" that he hadn't argued his case
    sufficiently objectively to their philosophological satisfaction. More's the

    His "critique" of pragmatism in fact suggests his MoQ adds something missing
    from pragmatism as it existed before. Pragmatism wasn't perferct, but MoQ
    made it better, if you like.

    The classification of MoQ as a "useful tool" is mine not his. In my feeble
    attempts at being a philosopher rather than a mere philosophologist I do
    feel the need for the occasional original idea.

    Anyway, you've successfully deflected my thread from the main point which
    was not whether or not Pirsig was a pragmatist (clearly only ever a matter
    of opinion). My point (to David) was about wasting effort on definitions and
    dialectical arguments, (in inappropriate situations).


    -----Original Message-----
    []On Behalf Of Platt Holden
    Sent: 17 August 2003 23:27
    Subject: RE: MD A metaphysics - Bootstrapping


    > I don't see why that invalidates my suggestion that Pirsig is a
    > pragmatist. James and Phaedrus were both (and most of us would be I
    > guess) equally horrified at anything that might justify Nazism. James
    > and Dewey et al didn't have Pirigs MoQ framework with which to evaluate
    > the quality of value judgements.
    > Pirsig is a pragmatist who's invented a useful tool.

    Guess I have to lay out the entire argument why Pirsig is no
    pragmatist. Again, from Chap. 29 of Lila: (Thought you liked short

    "But the Metaphysics of Quality states that practicality is a social
    pattern of good. It is immoral for truth to be subordinated to social
    values since that is a lower form of evolution devouring a higher one.
    The idea that satisfaction alone is the test of anything is very
    dangerous, according to the Metaphysics of Quality. There are different
    kinds of satisfaction and some of them are moral nightmares. The
    Holocaust produced a satisfaction among Nazis. That was quality for
    them. They considered it to be practical. But it was a quality dictated
    by low level static social and biological patterns whose overall
    purpose was to retard the evolution of truth and Dynamic Quality."

    To suggest Pirsig is a pragmatist after this critique of pragmatism
    from an MOQ perspective seems odd. Can you show where Pirsig wrote
    something that would suggest he is a pragmatist? Did he ever say, for
    example, that he invented the MOQ as a "useful tool."


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