Re: MD Pirsig and Peirce

Date: Mon Aug 18 2003 - 09:01:36 BST

  • Next message: Jonathan B. Marder: "MD MoQ platypuses"

    Scott and All
    On 16 Aug. you wrote:

    > [Barfield, What Coleridge Thought, p. 183-4, published 1971]
    > "And we should be drawing particular to the Triad:
    > Differentia, Concordantia, and Contrarietas, mediating descent from
    > the absolute to the relative.

    You are so much better read on philosophy than me. I once was but
    after Pirsig my search was at an end so to say. Maybe not very smart
    when I see your results. Is this really Barfield on Coleridge speaking
    about "metaphysics of qualities? The plural form mars it a little but
    still. Wow! I prostrate myself.

    Me previously:
    >>OK then a Metaphysics of Imagination where the last static
    >>imagination is the S/O divide, but Quality is
    >> better!
    > Well, no. Imagination, to Coleridge, is in contrast to the
    > "understanding and the senses" referred to in the quote above. It is
    > precisely not static, but (in MOQ terms) involves DQ. For Coleridge,
    > the S/O divide is a case of the DQ/SQ divide, not a static idea. This
    > is where Squonk is misguided in saying "there are no subjects and
    > objects in the MOQ". If that were so, the MOQ would be useless, like
    > theology would be if it left out sin.

    Most apt. On Squonk too. The SOM is part and parcel of the MOQ,
    that much is for sure.

    > Where SOM goes wrong is not in
    > saying "there are subjects and there are objects" but in not realizing
    > that they are mutually dependent while being mutually opposite
    > (polarity), that they are the "two forces of one power" as manifested
    > in human minds at this time.

    I agree ...with a reservation. There have been no lack of mystics who
    saw this mutual dependency, but their has been regarded a religious
    solution and as such outside reason. Pirsig made it into a viable
    theory so grand that he called it a metaphysics (as such in the
    borderland). The value leap - in spite of his efforts to prove the
    Quality=Reality postulate - is a leap.

    > Pirsig is also wrong in trying to simply relegate the difference
    > between subject and object to different static levels.

    I have never liked this way of integrating the SOM ... why the
    intellectual level itself as the S/O soon emerged as the best

    > While
    > experience does divide into subject and object, it is also the case
    > that thinking (and knowing) reunite them to create a unity that is
    > distinguishable from the original Quality. That is, the S/O divide
    > creates unity-in-individuality. Or rather, it will, once we learn to
    > transcend the S/O divide without eliminating it.

    YES! That is "thinking's" role. As is intelligence's, inspiration's,
    intuition's and aesthetics' ...but Quality is the mother of them all.

    Me prev:
    > > P. of ZMM arrived at the insight that Quality was the creator of the
    > > S/O (subjects and objects as it says there). His insight started on
    > > Barfield- like ideas I don't deny that, but B. did not suggest a new
    > > metaphysics. If you use Barfield as underpinning the MOQ's premises,
    > > fine, but I have the impression that you see him saying something
    > > deeper.

    > As I said (I think to Paul), Coleridge provides the metaphysics that
    > Barfield adopts and in some ways expands.
    > I also think that Coleridge's metaphysics is better than Pirsig's, for
    > precisely the things that are bothering you. Coleridge emphasizes the
    > distinction between thinking and thoughts, for example. He would not
    > have equated "static intellectual patterns of value" with "mind", or
    > "thinking". Basically, Coleridge has a full philosophy of mind and
    > nature (and which turn out to be the same) which Pirsig lacks, though
    > the basics of it are there in the DQ/SQ split.

    The way I interpret ZMM and of most of LILA I find all this fulfilled, but
    we may return to that, these Barfield-Coleridge-Pirsig comparisons
    have been very enlightening.

    >My assumption is that,
    > in writing Lila, Pirsig did not see the need to get to it, and in a
    > way he was right. However, if one does want to get to it, the tools
    > and terminology aren't there -- hence the debates here on the nature
    > of the intellectual level, your distress at the annotating Pirsig,
    > etc. The tools and terminology can be found in Coleridge.


    Over to Peirce.

    Me prev:
    > > In the book it is not said how Peirce arrived at his SIGN insight,
    > > or if he saw it in contrast to any SOM - maybe you know - but the
    > > likeness between Sign and Quality is striking.

    > Yes, his theory is triadic, and his discussion of Thirdness (of which
    > the sign is his primary example) is anti-SOM. SOM assumes basic
    > reality as composed of Seconds (e.g., object seen by subject), but he
    > argues that the thirdness of the sign is irreducible to any
    > combination of seconds, and since signs clearly exist as thirds, SOM
    > must be false.

    Me prev:
    > > If the above "development" of Peirce is made it fits perfectly with
    > > all levels intact. And it helps immensely in understanding the 4th
    > > level. What do you say?.

    > Well, in the past I have tried to put forward the view that
    > "everything is language", and that was based in part on Peirce.

    This has passed me by. A language metaphysics is (as all other
    suggestions of "groundstuffs") possible but Quality is best. My
    mantra. ;-)

    > I see
    > the levels as being distinct because of the way we cannot discern all
    > three levels, in fact, we only see two in the biological level
    > (lacking the interpretant), and one in the inorganic (Object only).
    > However, it does not distinguish between the social and intellectual
    > levels, and for that -- assuming one wants to go this route, and DMB
    > raises valid objections -- I see the difference being DQ inside and
    > not outside.

    My Peirce/Pirsig application ran like this:(just one level example).
    Biological quality is that of "reading inorganic signs" as sense
    experiences; that certain wave-lengths of the electromagnetic
    spectrum signify "color", that certain molecular configurations signify
    "taste" or "smell", and that certain air pressure frequencies signify
    "sound". I will bring the whole thing as soon as I can reconstruct it.
    Can this be harmonized with your Peirce application?

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