RE: MD Objectivity, Truth and the MOQ

From: Paul Turner (
Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 15:33:03 GMT

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    > Bo previously said:
    > OK, we may be reconciled here if you accept Truth in the sense of (ZMM

    > "Truth. Knowledge. That which is independent of what anyone thinks of
    > it. The ideal that Socrates died for. The ideal that Greece alone
    > possesses for the first time in the history of the world."
    > Paul previously said:
    > That was their definition of truth after it was separated from belief
    > and placed higher than the good.

    Bo said:
    Wrong, this is P. of ZMM's definition of what took place at that time.

    Of course that quote is Pirsig, but if you look at what he was
    interpreting, Plato had Socrates say that truth and knowledge were
    "recollected" and were not the mere product of belief.

    "But a soul that never saw the truth cannot take a human shape, since a
    human being must understand speech in terms of general forms, proceeding
    to bring many perceptions together into reasoned unity. That process is
    the recollection of the things our soul saw when it was travelling with
    god, when it disregarded the things we now call real and lifted up its
    head to what is truly real instead.

    For just this reason it is fair that only a philosopher’s mind grows
    wings, since its memory always keeps as close as possible to those
    realities by being close to which the gods are divine. A man who uses
    reminders of these things correctly is always at the highest, most
    perfect level of initiation, and he is the only one who is perfect as
    perfect can be" [Plato, PHAEDRUS (249c)]

    "The things we now call real" as opposed to "what is truly real." It
    doesn't take too much interpretation.

    Bo said:
    Socrates, Plato or Aristotle did not know any subject/object
    distinction. Socrates definition was TRUTH ...not separate from belief,
    but different from OPINION (that the Sophists kept
    manipulating) but note that Pirsig feels the need for strengthening it
    by his: "That what is independent of ...etc." which is what we define as

    By "belief" I meant what you mean by "opinion." I should have said
    *mere* belief. I don't think Pirsig is adding anything that Plato failed
    to mention. What you are describing is Pirsig's summary of the birth of
    subjective and objective in the epistemological sense.

    Bo said:
    Plato's permanence were IDEAS, only with Aristotle did something
    resembling S/O (form/substance) emerge.

    And here you are talking about how Aristotle invented subjective and
    objective in the metaphysical sense.

    Bo said:
    The kernel of all this is: It's the MOQ's interpretation of the past we
    talk about, and my assertion is that everything Pirsig writes points to
    a S/O definition of intellect. How Socrates, Plato and Aristotle defined
    their own struggle is almost irrelevant, Socrates did NOT (in his own
    words) place truth higher than good.

    Socrates didn't write anything down so we don't know what he said "in
    his own words." Plato, however, did place truth higher than good, both
    in his dialogues and in the "MOQ interpretation."

    "In order to win the battle for Truth in which areté is subordinate,
    against his enemies who would teach areté in which truth is subordinate,
    Plato must first resolve the internal conflict among the
    Truth-believers." [ZMM p.388]

    "Plato's second synthesis is the incorporation of the Sophists' areté
    into this dichotomy of Ideas and Appearance. He gives it the position of
    highest honor, subordinate only to Truth itself and the method by which
    Truth is arrived at, the dialectic. But in his attempt to unite the Good
    and the True by making the Good the highest Idea of all, Plato is
    nevertheless usurping areté's place with dialectically determined
    truth." [ZMM p.388]

    Bo said:
    Truth was his highest good.

    No, good was his highest Idea.

    > Bo said:
    > Still I wonder why the "objective" term so inedible?
    > Paul:
    > Because it implies the possibility of correspondence to
    > objects-in-themselves. That is one view of truth but there are others.

    Bo said:
    Will you never understand? As a static level 'subjective' and
    'objective' lose their metaphysical "in-themselves" quality they had in
    SOM and becomes the static value of such a distinction.

    It is you that makes it difficult to understand. In the past you have
    said that intellect is SOM then it was subject-object logic then
    subjective/objective knowledge and now it is impartiality. Seven years
    and counting Bo, is it the misunderstanding of all of us?

    Look at what you have written here:

    "Yes impartial, that's it. In ZMM Pirsig writes (in describing the
    emergence of SOM): "...But now as the result of the growing IMPARTIALITY
    of the Greeks to the world around them ...etc."

    So S/O is just impartiality, an approach to knowledge, but then

    "this is the way the the S/O distinction must be understood in the MOQ;
    the value of an objective reality versus opinion."

    Now it's about objective reality again, a metaphysical claim!
    Paul previously said:
    > In
    > Plato's dialogues, you often find his characters using the "analytic"
    > truths of mathematics to demonstrate this "objectivity" but even those
    > have been shown to be one from a possible many, as described by Pirsig
    > in the section on Poincare in ZMM.

    Bo said:
    About "one from a possible many" (many what?) you have to spoon-feed me.

    Axioms, "self evident truths."

    "Poincaré concluded that the axioms of geometry are conventions, our
    choice among all possible conventions is guided by experimental facts,
    but it remains free and is limited only by the necessity of avoiding all
    contradiction. Thus it is that the postulates can remain rigorously true
    even though the experimental laws that have determined their adoption
    are only approximative. The axioms of geometry, in other words, are
    merely disguised definitions." [ZMM p.270]



    P.S. As an aside, I'm currently writing a report on Information Quality
    for a company in the UK, nowhere does a sharp subject/object distinction
    or the search for immortal principles come into the writing of the
    report yet it is clearly not just a social activity. A manipulation of
    abstract symbols to convey (hopefully) coherent ideas describes what I'm
    doing perfectly. What level would BoMOQ put my report writing in?

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