Re: MD secular humanism and dynamic quality

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 18:09:24 BST

  • Next message: MATTHEW PAUL KUNDERT: "Re: MD When is a metaphysics not a metaphysics?"

    > Matt said:
    > I still think you are
    > completely wrong about your "reading" of Rorty. That you'd even try to vie
    > for a better scholastic reading of Rorty over me is funny in itself. Face
    > it Platt, you're wrong.

    Rorty said:
    ". . . so we may learn to set aside all the differences between all the
    various searches for redemption when we cooperate to build Wilde's
    utopia." ("The Decline of Redemptive Truth and the Rise of Literary
    Culture" by Richard Rorty, November 2000).

    Platt previously:
    What is this "Wilde's utopia" Rorty wants us to cooperate to build?
    (Followed by a Internet site reference to Wilde's essay,"The Soul of Man
    Under Socialism" in which Wilde proposes eliminating private property,
    ending marriage, and doing away with democracy.)

    According to Matt, "Platt is wrong."

    How? Why?

    Because (as clearly indicated) "I, Matt, a highly educated intellectual
    (who does scholastic readings) find it funny that you, Platt, an ignorant
    brutish peasant, would dare to question me.

    Is Platt wrong because he misquoted Rorty? Or because he misinterpreted
    Wilde? Or because Rorty later renounced his endorsement of Wilde's utopia?
    Or because Rorty really didn't mean what he said?

    No answer. Just, "Platt, you're wrong," like a king casting a pearl before
    swine. (Later, Matt, with all the sublimity of postmodernist vocabulary,
    refers to Platt not as swine, but as a "dick.")

    I've known a lot of professorial types who became apoplectic when their
    pet theories are questioned, especially by someone they deem of lesser
    intellect than themselves. They never seem to realize that their long
    sentences, big words and constant references to intellectual celebrities
    (otherwise known as name-dropping) fails to convince anyone of anything
    except perhaps a few who are cloistered in ivory towers like themselves.

    By contrast, Pirsig, whose intellectual credentials may be short but whose
    intellectual prowess is light years ahead of most philosophy professors
    speaks simply, clearly, directly and plainly, and is always respectful of
    his readers no matter how stubborn and contrary he finds them to be. (See
    the Notes to "Lila's Child.")

    That, my friends, is quality.



    > And I don't even know why you'd care to be right. Is Rorty the important
    > part, or is the repudiation of communism? Hmmm, let me take five sec--no I
    > got it already COMMUNISM!
    > What's more important around here, better ideas or better scholasticism?
    > I've asked that before and I had no takers. Personally, I think better
    > ideas, but I get the feeling that other people would rather be
    > scholastically right about Pirsig than have better ideas, be they Pirsigian
    > or not. We can still have accurate reflections of authorial intention, but
    > between the accurate reflection and a better idea, I'd take the better
    > idea.
    > So, to make myself clear, even if Rorty did favor communism (which anybody
    > with any familiarity at all with Rorty would know that he does not), I
    > wouldn't care because _I_ do not favor communism, and that's the better
    > idea.
    > Platt said:
    > I think this is referred to as the 'politics of personal destruction.' I
    > always took you to be above such ad hominem childishness.
    > Matt:
    > Ya' know, I came to a realization about myself, that this forum actually
    > clarifies. I'm a very nice guy--until provoked, particularly for no good
    > reason. If you're a dick to me, expect the same. If you're willfully
    > stubborn and contrary, don't expect a lot of patience or sympathy. I think
    > my various conversations over the past two years bare that assessment out
    > with stunning accuracy (Sam and Scott on one side, Squonk and DMB on the
    > other).
    > Matt
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