Re: MD MOQ or Idealism or Pragmatism?

From: David MOREY (
Date: Thu Mar 11 2004 - 19:39:12 GMT

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    Hi Matt

    No fight on here, pretty much like this post. I agree
    that we have to hang real loose on these things. You
    say no thanks to metaphysics it is too heavy, I am
    saying I still want to play, but in a new lighter spirit,
    because I still think it has its uses. As far as I am concerned
    SQ/DQ and the levels are concepts playing on a metaphysical
    field, but sure we might bring on a few substitutes at some point.
    Also think that metaphysics is about ground concepts that
    if you do not make them explicit they become hidden and implicit,
    and if you have known you will never be able to build very much
    in the way of concepts, and no concepts no knowledge, and no
    knowledge, is pragmatically bad news.

    Fancy kicking a couple on ontological concepts around for an hour?

    David Morey

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: <>
    Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 10:10 PM
    Subject: Re: MD MOQ or Idealism or Pragmatism?

    > David, All,
    > David said:
    > I have just been reading some Berkeley the famous idealist. He argues for
    his version of idealism by rejecting the notion of being able to represent
    objects in the mind, that there is no way to distinguish between primary and
    secondary qualities, that all experience is phenomenal and that there is
    nothing we can gain access to with which to compare any represenations to.
    My more general question for you is what are the differences between
    pragmatism and idealism and why do you support one and not the other? And
    does this help to clarify how the MOQ is to be understood?
    > Matt:
    > This relates directly to the air of seriousness surrounding philosophy
    that I talked about. Pragmatists are good phenomenalists and Berkeley did
    give pragmatists some good dialectical tools for arguing with realists. But
    Berkeley succumbed to the urge to say that this is what's _really_ going on.
    Pragmatists don't know how anyone can say that. Idealism is on the same
    dialectical path from Plato to Dewey, one stage in which philosophers made
    good progress in kicking the metaphysical habit, but ultimately couldn't.
    > Does this clarify the MoQ? I think it does insofar as we learn from the
    idealists' mistakes and not reify Quality or the MoQ. In other words, don't
    take it so seriously. The air of seriousness is hot and heavy in this
    forum, which is why it remains easy for me to pick fights. Some people are
    learning, though, even long-time enemies like DMB. My suggestion to people
    at this forum is to not take Pirsig so seriously. I think this forum is
    great. I think it generates great ideas. I think developing Pirsig's
    philosophy is great. I think refining the MoQ as a tool is great. But the
    tone with which people develop the MoQ is typically one of worship, that
    they wouldn't drop it for the world, not for anything. Everyone pays
    lipservice to the idea of dropping it as soon as a better tool comes around,
    but the seriousness comes out in trying really hard to make the MoQ the
    biggest tool ever, enveloping everything, saying something about everything.
    Trying to make the MoQ the
    > biggest tool ever just ends up making Pirsig the biggest tool ever.
    That's ultimately how ironists make fun of metaphysicians. We lounge around
    and say, "Dude, seriously, chill out."
    > Matt
    > p.s. I'm curious to see how many fights I pick with this post.
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