Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Thu Apr 01 2004 - 17:30:41 BST

  • Next message: David MOREY: "Re: MD What have you freed lately?"

    Hi Wim, DMB, all,

    > DMB:
    > 'I certainly have a much more clear idea of Pirsig's level's than
    > yours, but
    > its pretty clear that they are not the same. For example, it seems
    > clear
    > that Pirsig's descriptions of the social level have pretty much
    > nothing to
    > do with "unconscious copying of behavior". For Pirsig it is myth,
    > ritual,
    > language, the giant, the values that hold a society together, it is
    > blue
    > ribbons and saving face, it is that which controls and dominates
    > biological
    > values, it is the parent of the intellectual level. It is many things,
    > but
    > it is certainly not the "unconscious copying of behavior". Its hard to
    > image
    > how you could have come up with something so, um, ... well, its just
    > plain
    > weird. Where'd you ever get that idea anyway?'

    Wim said:
    > Now that I have formulated my alternative definitions, we may as well
    > try to
    > discuss whether they are better or worse than Pirsig's
    > definitions/descriptions. You may be right that my definitions imply a
    > different split of 'static quality' than the one Pirsig intended. I'm
    > not
    > convinced, but that's irrelevant for the moment. Even if they would, it
    > might accidentally be a better metaphysical split.

    I don't think your method of definition gives a different split,
    either. It would be interesting to discuss.

    > I retain Quality as starting concept, static/Dynamic as first split
    > and 4
    > levels of static quality of which at least 2 are the same as
    > Pirsig's....

    > One of the ideas that started my philosophical fit was, that defining
    > the
    > levels in a comparable way, with only a few variables, might clarify
    > matters. Another (hopefully) inspired idea was to use 'pattern of
    > value' as
    > core concept in all those definitions and to avoid using 'value' or
    > 'values'
    > separately. That might prevent contamination with Subject-Object
    > thinking,
    > in which a 'value' is a characteristic of either a subject or an
    > object. A
    > pattern is something that repeats or shows a recognizable structure.

    I agree that it is important to think about what is meant by 'pattern'
    in understanding the MOQ.

    > In my
    > understanding a 'pattern' is a 'pattern of value' because we value its
    > stability and versatility (and possibly the harmony with higher level
    > patterns of value).

    In my understanding, if we postulate that reality is Quality, then all
    the structures that we perceive represent value relationships of one or
    more of 4 different types,

    e.g. gravity is a pattern from which we can infer a value relationship
    of the inorganic type between falling rock and the earth,

    hunger is a recurring experience that represents a biological value
    relationship between animal and food,

    family is a structure that indicates social value relationships between
    family members,

    and logic is a pattern of thought that underlies rationales
    representing intellectual value relationships between thinker and
    particular manipulations of symbols.

    > The comparability of my definitions derives from
    > concentrating on the way these patterns are
    > maintained/replicated/latched.
    > In three of the four definitions I use the word 'copy': copying DNA
    > (and
    > consequently hard-wired 'mechanisms' that guide behaviour), copying
    > behaviour and copying motivations/rationales for behaviour/actions. I
    > do not
    > always include unconscious and conscious in the definitions of the
    > social
    > and intellectual levels. That distinction is not essential for my
    > understanding of them even though it can help to understand the copying
    > 'mechanisms'.

    Again, I don't see your method as creating a new set of distinctions
    but rather as a useful tool for helping to make the same distinctions
    suggested by Pirsig. Your insight that we can classify particular
    types of patterns by the way they are propagated can help to clear up
    some cases where there is disagreement about leveling. I personally
    often find your method very helpful in determining types of patterns.


    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Apr 01 2004 - 19:07:32 BST