Re: MD Pirsig and Peirce

Date: Sat Aug 30 2003 - 21:57:29 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD Where things end."


    I'm grumpy and don't have a lot of time, so I'll going to be a bit short:

    DMB said:
    The failure to make clear that your story is told through pragmatic eyes has caused me a great deal of confusion.

    I see it as very simple. All stories are told from a perspective. Nothing is a-perspectival. ZMM as a novel is great for teaching this lesson because the narrator is not only in the story, from all appearances, he's the villian.

    Since this is one of the central morals of pragmatism, one I know I've talked about, I didn't feel the need to always mention it. Because if not through pragmatic eyes, than whose? Kantians? Only for a rhetorical setup which is usually contrasted with the pragmatist narrative. So if I give only one narrative, that I apparently endorse, who else's perspective is it going to be from but mine, the pragmatist's? There is no Correct Narrative of History, at least one that includes the label progress. Pragmatists got rid of that hypostatization long ago.

    DMB said:
    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.

    It certainly does constitute "a kind of backward projection" and it certainly isn't a practice "without controversy". However, pragmatists don't know how else to put the label "progress" on anything without it.

    DMB said:
    Some people still believe the best interpretation accurately reflects the author's intended meaning.

    This is inane and not to the point. If we somehow come upon the author's intended meaning, and everyone's agreed on it, and it isn't something that you like, are you still going to like it? Only if you think the Author is God. The point is that, since being chided for my over-enthusiasm for strong misreadings, I've always made a distinction between, as I called it with Paul, biography and philosophy. If I'm trying to figure out what Pirsig meant, then I'm trying to figure out what Pirsig meant. But if I'm trying to figure out some good philosophy, a good interpretation of the world, then accuracy isn't in point. Sometimes I am trying to figure out what was going on in Pirsig's head. However, sometimes I am trying to figure out what's going on in my head.

    DMB said:
    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.


    From October 14, 2002, in a post entitled "Pirsig, the MoQ, and SOM":

    "In the past, I've put forth a thesis that Pirsig can, and should at times, be seen as a Kantian philosopher. He can be seen following many of the same metaphysical moves that Kant made. Bo denied this because Kant should be seen as the primary member of the so-called Subject-Object Metaphysical club. As Bo saw, by making this claim, I'm making a not-so-tiny indictment against Pirsig's view of the MoQ as repudiating SOM.


    "So, this is my reading of the MoQ presented by Pirsig: Pirsig believes he's repudiating subject-object metaphysics, but I find that he is still caught in it. He follows the Kantian inner-outer distinction, which leads people to interpret an appearence-reality distinction. Reality is still "out there." Its just now, morals are "out there.""

    To be fair, at the time you had just recently come back to the MD after an extended hiatus. You came back in the middle of a conversation that I had started a few months before, and for a while it would appear that you didn't read them. However, and here's where I'm not going to be fair, considering the length that the conversation has stretched, you came back almost at the beginning. The post I just quoted from was my second, maybe third, original posting in the pragmatist key. And many people have slipped into the conversation easily enough from further on.

    DMB said:
    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've said it before and I'll say it again: one cannot just drop "jargon". You can only move from one jargon to another. There are no ideas behind walls of words. That idea, like idea of a-perspectivalism, hinges on the appearance/reality distinction. You are right when you say that we are "all here to discuss Pirsig's work and discuss in Pirsig's terms." However, I think good work can only progress with varying and oscillating levels of each. And I have gone to some lengths ever since I've been here to connect Rorty's dots with Pirsig's dots. But that doesn't mean I'm going to drop Rorty's dots, particularly when I think they sometimes do a better job of expression.

    DMB said:
    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.

    I think you should've put the emphasis on "we". I've been talking to other people with varying levels of success for a while now.


    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 : Sat Aug 30 2003 - 21:59:58 BST