Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

From: David MOREY (
Date: Wed Oct 08 2003 - 19:42:51 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig"

    Hi Wim


    In a way intellectual patterns are used to try out the
    future prior to actual action. By using symbols/intellectual
    constructions we can try out patterns in theory before
    we go ahead and act. Perhaps the intellectual is all about
    capturing what is possible (the future) in a static form prior
    to actual living so that we can make more intelligent the
    activity of living/action/agency. Although if you are going to
    turn the possible into static intellectual patterns then you
    already have to have a pre-intellectual and pre-articulated
    knowledge/contact/intuition of what the possible/future might
    contain. So how do dogs catch balls so well. Do they calculate it?
    Or do they just chose the possible future in which they do catch the ball.
    If many world theory is right there would be many world where dogs never
    catch the ball. Clearly many worlds is absurd. Maybe agency collapsing
    the wave function that best matches its values is better. Chosing the best
    future available (on a good day). This would help to explain the achievement
    of the
    cosmos, and the anthropic principle. So that's why this world is why it is!
    Mind you we have not always chosen our futures well since we became

    I think this is the most important post I've come up with.
    Who is for who against?

    David Morey

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Wim Nusselder" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 2:31 PM
    Subject: Re: MD Intellectual level - New letter from Pirsig

    > Dear Bo,
    > I have to disappoint you. Unlike you suggest 6 Oct 2003 17:40:38 +0200, I
    > not disagree with Robert P.'s definition of the intellectual level as the
    > collection and manipulation of symbols that stand for patterns of
    > experience.
    > I do disagree with your alternative, "Intellect is the value of seeing
    > symbol-manipulation as different from the rest of experience". The
    > intellectual level (which I guess you mean when you write 'intellect'
    > is not a value, but the sum total of the patterns of value of a specific
    > type. It is the 'standing for' relationship that characterizes 4th level
    > experience, the experience that a symbol is different from and yet like
    > other experience.
    > I prefer to define the intellectual level in another way than Robert does,
    > by the way intellectual patterns of value are maintained (by copying
    > rationales). My way of defining defines the same intellectual level as
    > Robert's way, however. It only makes it easier (in my opinion) to see the
    > discreteness of the levels. This difference in ways of defining is
    > comparable to the difference between the biological level as life or as
    > patterns of value maintained by copying DNA/RNA.
    > Another misunderstanding of my views shows itself when you write:
    > 'Intellectual value is no built-in part of a culture. Maybe necessary in
    > your view though because you see social behavior as mindless.'
    > You are right. Cultures do not necessarily contain intellectual patterns
    > value. Before the start of the intellectual level, cultures only consisted
    > of social patterns of value.
    > Social level (unmotivated) behaviour is mindless only because I equate
    > Pirsig in 'Lila's Child') the intellectual level with 'mind'. It defines
    > 'mind' rather than that it says anything meaningful about the social
    > Another misunderstanding:
    > 'Just because Pirsig says that the rituals may be the social-intellect
    > connection it does not mean that intellectual reality is synonymous with
    > rituals.'
    > The intellectual level is not synonymous with rituals in my view. Rituals
    > are complex sets of behaviour. Some of them may have formed the threshold
    > between social and intellectual patterns of value, because they may have
    > made the insight dawn on early homo sapiens that they might be performing
    > those (religious) rituals 'because' somehow 'cosmic order' required them
    > (because it had to be maintained or because they had to stay in line with
    > or whatever).
    > A last misunderstanding:
    > 'The intellectual level before Homo Sapiens?'
    > No, I said that Robert's definition of the intellectual level in my view
    > might put its start back 50.000 - 100.000 years. Homo Sapiens appeared
    > 100.000 - 150.000 years ago, if I am rightly informed.
    > With friendly greetings,
    > Wim
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