Re: MD Objectivity, Truth and the MOQ

Date: Sat Feb 07 2004 - 07:05:11 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Objectivity, Truth and the MOQ"

    On 5 Feb 2004 at 21:19, wrote:

    > Hello Poot,
    > Please forgive me for jumping in? You are absolutely spot on.
    > The sophists, like Protagoras, knew all about mathematics and logic
    > (Zeno), and they said such things were excellent if it was pragmatic
    > for those who not only wished, but had the potential to excel in them.

    The Sophist's role in the MOQ is an interesting issue, but I have
    trouble seeing where you place them in this post, however, from
    earlier experience I know that you see them as intellectual
    forerunners, but that is inconsistent with Pirsig's texts.

    > Arte is excellence no matter what the field: An excellent physique, an
    > excellence in social art, excellence in intellectual pursuits.

    That aretê is excellence - or Quality - there is no question about,
    but the MOQ says that there are four static levels of Aretê - and
    the problem is what INTELLECTUAL ARETÊ is. "Intellectual
    pursuit" in your words sounds like mere mathematical prowess, in
    that case pre-intellectual LEVEL cultures had many excellent
    intellectuals, and this make no sense.

    > It is
    > the excellence - Quality, as you rightly point out, which is THE most
    > important thing to understand. Protagoras was quite willing to condemn
    > maths and geometry for those who had no chance of achieving excellence
    > in them. But if that was the sincere wish of talented young potential,
    > then maths and geometry would be taught - usually by recommending
    > another sophist who was excellent in these areas.

    What has mathematics got do with it?

    > Those sophists who
    > taught rhetoric would have spoken of mathematics by way of art and
    > creative analogy - exactly as Poincaré understood - maths is pragmatic
    > and useful for its excellence.

    > 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]
    > It is no wonder beautiful mathematics then has practical application
    > later on? But the excellence comes first, and as you correctly
    > understand: excellence is Quality. Not merely social quality

    Hold it Mr Maxwell. The strange thing is that in ZMM social
    quality DOES seem to be Aretê, i.e: Quality itself.

    PIRSIG (ZMM p.391)
    > > "Dialectic, which is the parent of logic, came itself from rhetoric.
    > > Rhetoric is in turn the child of the myths and poetry of ancient Greece.
    > > That is so historically, and that is so by any application of common
    > > sense. The poetry and the myths are the response of a prehistoric people
    > > to the universe around them made on the basis of Quality. It is Quality,
    > > not dialectic, which is the generator of everything we know."

    Dialectics represents SOM and above Pirsig says that it comes
    from Rhetorics which is from the ancient Mythos, but in LILA and
    the MOQ the mythological past IS the social level
    ("The Mythos is the social structure ..." (LILA p 386))

    > but
    > Quality what ever the human endeavour. You understand Poot. You have
    > got it. Excellence IS Quality.

    THAT is hardly a revelation.


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