RE: MD Pirsig and Peirce

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sat Aug 30 2003 - 20:37:28 BST

  • Next message: David MOREY: "Re: MD Forked tongue"

    Matt, Paul and all pragmatic MOQers:

    Matt said:
    I'll rehearse briefly the historical dialectic that led to this. (I
    shouldn't have to warn, but I will in case there is any confusion. The
    story I'm about to tell is from the pragmatist's eyes...
    Now, you'll notice that I've muddied the historical waters by making
    Descartes, Locke, Kant, and Hegel talk about language. The reason I did
    this was because, in the move against representationalism, it isn't
    necessary that we talk about language as opposed to ideas and mind.
    Therefore, it is very easy to reconstruct their arguments to make it look
    like they were talking about language ...

    Paul replied:
    You're right, you shouldn't have to warn anyone before saying anything.
    My comments about "pragmatist misrepresentation" were a bit harsh given
    the length of time you have been around on this forum and the lengths
    you have gone to in explaining your approach to Pirsig. I was just being
    antagonistic, which doesn't really help debate.

    dmb says:
    I disagree and wish you had warned me long ago. The failure to make clear
    that your story is told through pragmatic eyes has caused me a great deal of
    confusion. I mean, it seems clear to me now that this practice constitutes a
    kind of backward projection from a 20th century perspective and that this
    practice is not without controversy. Some people still believe the best
    interpretation accurately reflects the author's intended meaning.
    Fortunately, I think something has finally clicked for me. I'm starting to
    see what the strange practices and jargon are all about. This things have
    unnecessarily locked me out of the conversation for many moons, now I think
    I see it and it seems even more clear that JARGON was the only problem....

    Matt said:
    ... If language is a mirror, then getting better knowledge amounts to having
    better and better representations of the object of inquiry, to mirror the
    world so that eventually our language will be transparent to the world.
    This means that the final judge and jury of the truth of a proposition is
    Nature, the World, something "out there" that is not us. ...

    dmb says:
    Now I can see that you've only been talking about subject/object
    metaphysics. That's what appearance and reality are. Your discussion of
    correspondence theroies are discussions of objectivity, where there can only
    be a single explanation of things. Nature and the world is objective
    reality, no? The truth tribunal is objectivity. I mean, the pragmatists have
    a different set of terms and those terms express a slightly different
    characterization of the problem, but surely it is the same problem, no? This
    kills me. Its like were all here to discuss Pirsig's work and discuss in
    Pirsig's terms, but you insist on using some other currency with ever
    mentioning the exchange rate. Maybe I should have noticed this long ago and
    its all my fault, but you must admit that I've been asking to drop the
    strange jargon for quite a while and its no accident that a wall has come
    down the moment you began express the ideas behind them. I'm grateful for
    your recent efforts and plan to respond further, but I sure wish you'd done
    it long ago. Now we can BEGIN to talk.


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