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

Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 03:41:47 BST

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


    You Pompous #$%@!

    Why don't you discuss Pirsig's letter if it means so much to you. We are waiting for your wonderful insights. Or Does Matt just get you too worked up. How does your insistence on picking apart Matt because he doesn't adopt your pet project concerning Mysticism and Pirsig affect your Peace of mind? I don't remember there ever being a consensus here that this was the true starting point for discussing and understanding Pirsig. IS Matt getting in the way of your wish to deliver this true message to us all? Just shut up for once. Your pontificating is as pointless Platt's singleminded objections to Matt. You don't get to decide what is worthwhile to bring forward to this site. You know, I love the weekdays when you disappear. I dread the weekends when My email box fills with Buchanen@Classical... . I used to kind of like you. But, what a Jerk you can be. Go away for awhile. Everyone else does. But you come back every weekend like a bad hemorrhoid. Please Give us a break. You are giving me the heebe

    *&%$ off,
    > Matt and all MOQers:
    > Matt begins:
    > Because I'm bored,
    > dmb says:
    > Bored?! How could you possibly be bored!? Thanks to you we are no longer
    > discussing Pirsig's recent letter or anything else. Its all about your
    > series in particular and Rorty's pragmatism in general. Its all about you,
    > baby. Enjoy it.
    > DMB had said:
    > And your essay seems to suggest that the problem with the Nazis is that they
    > reject DQ in favor of static patterns.
    > Matt replied:
    > My essay would only seem to suggest that if you take me as endorsing what I
    > think Pirsig is suggesting.
    > dmb says:
    > The problem is not what you endorse, its what you think Pirsig is saying.
    > Pirsig is not saying the Nazi's need to be more mystical. He's saying the
    > problem is one of static values and DQ just doesn't figure in to it. I'm
    > saying that you have misunderstood Pirsig.
    > Matt said:
    > I've never been freaked out by mysticism because I've never really
    > identified it with theism. I don't want to get into a debate about

    > mysticism, religion, organized religion, atheism, and theism (etc.) because
    > I haven't sorted my thoughts out on them yet. But I will say this, I've
    > never been involved in making DQ into something other than religious
    > mysticism.
    > dmb says:
    > You haven't sorted your thoughts out about it. OK. But then how can you know
    > whether or not you've misunderstood DQ and religious mysticism? I've tried
    > to point out specific examples where you describe DQ as something that is
    > very different than what Pirsig says, but you persist in this. For
    > example...
    > Matt continued:
    > I think my startling slogan that DQ is no more than a compliment is
    > perfectly commensurate with mysticism. This is partly because of what I've
    > read of Rorty, what I've read of David L. Hall on Rorty, and what Sam's said
    > about Wittgenstein. I think in some (very curious and significant) ways,
    > Rorty is a mystic in a professorial disguise. There are some good
    > biographical reasons for this, too.
    > dmb says:

    > This is so evasive that I can't help but suspect you're just blowing smoke.
    > In any case, "a compliment we pay after the fact" isn't even in the same
    > ballpark with DQ. There is no freakin' way. The mystical reality, the void,
    > eternity, the undifferentiated aesthetic continuum, the primary reality, the
    > pre-intellectual reality, the father of all, the womb of creation, the
    > ground of being. It can be called many things. But "compliment" ain't one of
    > them.
    > Matt:
    > Nope, not what I said. The _distinction_ between mediated and unmediated
    > experience is what leads to a lot of unneeded conceptual problems.
    > Pragmatists would like to just have experience.
    > dmb says:
    > By denying the distinction, you deny the very existence of the object of
    > discussion. You, sir, have begged the question. And worse than that, we are
    > suppose to pretend a word, a phrase, a concept isn't real so that you win
    > the debate before it can begin. That's bogus. Totally bogus. And it once

    > again demonstrates your misunderstanding of Pirsig's mysticism.
    > DMB had said:
    > But an unmediated experience is just a descriptive name for a mystical
    > experience. Since Lila sorta begins and ends with that scene in the teepee,
    > I think its clear that Pirsig does not share the Pragmatists view. Pirsig
    > gets at this kind of experience personally in at least two ways: by way of
    > insanity and peyote. Then there is all that talk about ZEN and the
    > pricelessness of solitude and empty space.
    > Matt replied:
    > All of that is easily pragmatized. Instead of saying that words get in the
    > way of our experience (making a split between mediated and unmediated),
    > pragmatists think that some experiences are unconveyable in language. When
    > this happens, if you want to convey it, you end up expanding our language,
    > expanding the limits of language, expanding what can be conveyed.
    > dmb says:
    > Hold yer horses right there, mister. Didn't I JUST tell you that an

    > unmediated experience is a mystical experience? Didn't I? And now here you
    > are two seconds later pretending like it was never mentioned. You just
    > assert that it has to do with the distance between words and experience.
    > Don't let the ineffability of the mystical experience lead you astray. This
    > is not a linguistic problem. We're talking about a religous experience,
    > about a shift in consciousness, not coining new terms.
    > DMB says:
    > I think that Plato has been wildly misunderstood by guys like Rorty. Plato
    > seems to be in Rorty's sights because he's taken for a foundationalist
    > asserting ahistorical truths or whatever, but he was actually talking about
    > the mystical reality.
    > Matt:
    > Plato's writings admit for all sorts of interpretations, one being a
    > "foundationalist asserting ahistorical truths" and another as "talking about
    > the mystical reality". ...Rorty's enemy is the foundationalist, not the
    > mystic, and so the Plato Rorty is talking about is the one that sounds like

    > a foundationalist, the one that has convinced much of Western Philosophy
    > that he was a foundationalist.
    > dmb posts some revelant Pirsigisms:
    > "This duality of form and substance and the scientific method of arriving at
    > facts about substances were central to Aristotle's philosophy. Thus the
    > dethronement dialectic from what Socrates and Plato held it to be..." (ZAMM
    > P330)
    > "Plato is the essential Buddha-seeker who appears again and again in each
    > generation, moving onward and upward toward the 'one'." (ZAMM P331)
    > "What Phaedrus has been talking about as Quality, Socrates appears to have
    > described as the soul, self-moving, the source of all things. There is no
    > contradiction." (ZAMM P349)
    > DMB had said:
    > ...I think unjustified convictions are just about exactly what we DON'T
    > need.
    > Matt replied:
    > Look closer Watson. I said "philosophical justification". Any conviction
    > can be justified, but no conviction can be justified in all possible

    > vocabularies. The American moral vocabulary and the MoQian vocabulary are
    > two examples where the Nazi would not be able to justify his convictions.
    > That's why they used Hitler's and Rosenberg's, though. My point was that
    > pragmatists don't think our convictions, in other words our vocabularies in
    > which our convictions are spelled out, need a philosophical underpinning.
    > And I know you don't think this, because if you did think it in the relevant
    > sense, you'd be a foundationalist and a Kantian.
    > dmb says:
    > Yea, I heard you the first time, Sherlock. But once again you've distorted
    > the issue by trying to make it all a matter linguistics, but my assertion
    > had nothing to do with "all possibel vocabularies" or anything like that.
    > I'm just saying that far too many people are asserting PHILOSOPHICALLY
    > unjustified (and sometimes unjustifiable) convictions. Its a social
    > observation, Sherlock. And my point was that a philosophical position that

    > seems to encourage all these crazies, as Rorty seems to, is unhelpful as a
    > practical matter.
    > DMB said:
    > I'm a Kantian? You've mistaken mysticism for something else again!
    > Matt:
    > Actually, Kant can be read as having a little bit of the mystic in him with
    > the noumena and all. And as wanting a philosophical justification for our
    > liberal intuitions.
    > dmb says:
    > A little bit of the mystic in Kant? Dude, you are the name-droppingest
    > bullshitter I've ever encountered. Why can't you just admit that you're
    > clueless when it comes to mysticism? Why can't you admit that this
    > shortcoming keeps you from understanding Pirsig properly? When will you stop
    > pretending Pirsig is a linguistic philosopher and just do metaphysics like
    > we're supposed to? Let's get back to the letter, or something relevant to
    > the MOQ.
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