RE: MD Begging the Question, Moral Intuitions, and Answering the Nazi, Part III

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Mon Oct 13 2003 - 22:27:07 BST

  • Next message: Valence: "Re: MD Begging the Question, Moral Intuitions, and Answering the Nazi, Part III"

    Steve, Matt and all:

    Steve said:
    Anyway, if DQ does not make Pirsig's MOQ a better explanatory tool for you,
    then I guess as a good pragmatist you should reject the MOQ as you have. I
    still don't see why Pirsig is a bad pragmatist for including DQ which many
    of us find to be helpful in describing experience.

    dmb says:
    Right. It seems that Matt wants to dismiss or otherwise extract Pirsig's
    most central ideas. I don't see the point in that. Don't try to turn a Buick
    into a Chevy, just get yourself a Chevy. Its much easier that way. I mean,
    it seems pretty clear to me that pragmatized mysticism would be about as
    possible as soft diamonds. (coal) Which is to say it wouldn't be mysticism
    at all.

    Steve said:
    I see Pirsig as a post-pragmatist and as a post-post-metaphysical
    philosopher. He is post-pragmatist because he accepts the critiques of
    pragmatism on modern philosophy yet moves on. He is post-post-metaphysical
    because he sees his metaphysics as an intellectual postulate, and because
    his intellectual postulate includes the proposition that the MOQ will be
    replaced by something better.

    dmb says:
    Right. Pirsig has obviously gotten past whatever it is that forces Rorty to
    reject metaphysics. Clearly, Pirsig understands the extent to which our
    assumptions are steeped in language, but has gotten past whatever it is that
    forces Rorty to be paralyzed by such a state of affairs. And Pirsig seems to
    take the attitude that we do metaphysics because its fun, while Rorty seems
    to think its all just one big useless headache. (I know Matt will object to
    such a characterization, but that's only because I have a different
    vocabulary. :-) )

    Steve said:
    I don't see how this is in any way a critique of Pirsig's MOQ or a
    refutation of his claim that the Nazi could not justify his actions by the
    MOQ. I think you're basically saying that Pirsig is wrong because the Nazi
    could use it as long as he didn't understand it? To me that means he
    couldn't use it.

    dmb says:
    Right. To make an elaborate case that a NAZI could misuse and abuse the MOQ
    seems to miss the point. I mean, one of the tests of any thought system has
    to be it practical implications, but if one decides to use a thought system
    in a way that has nothing to do with its actual implications and is only a
    reflection of the will of the distorter, it simply says nothing whatsoever
    about that thought system. It only tells you about the distorter himself.


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