From: David Buchanan (DBuchanan@ClassicalRadio.org)
Date: Sun Jan 18 2004 - 17:40:29 GMT
Matt and all those with a 'sense of value':
Matt denied dmb's charge:
You imply that I'm importing some kind of physicalism, but I doubt it.
But Matt had just said:
If you make this distinction and insist that there is an additional "sense
value" analogous to the other five senses, I would imagine we would be able
to find it in our brains, ala the other five senses.
And then Matt said:
All I'm talking about is, if a sense of value is analogous to the other five
senses, then it should appear as a biological pattern of value, i.e. we
should be able to find it in our brains.
And just to be sure, Matt said it a third time:
But, if we take a "sense of value" to be analogous to the other five senses,
then, again, we should be able to find a biological pattern that is attuned
to morals, much like our eyes, ears, and skin are attuned to rocks.
Alas, it appears that you have missed my point because this is the
physicalism I'm talking about. Brains, brains, eyes, ears, skin. All three
statements exhibit an epistemological view entirely consistent with SOM.
Maybe the third one reveals the problem best. I think the search for "a
biological pattern that is attuned to morals" shows that you've taken
Pirsig's analogy too literally. I mean, it seems extrememly unlikely that
he's talking about an undiscovered sense organ. The 'sense of value' is LIKE
the five senses insofar as it helps us read the world, but its reach into
the inorganic, social and intellectual levels prevents us from thinking of
it strictly as a biological function. In other words, the 'sense of value'
exists at every level and so its comparison to sense organs shouldn't be
taken too literally.
But the more serious objection to taking Pirsig's analogy too literally is
contained in that same phrase, "a biological pattern attuned to morals". The
five senses are fine for appreciating the quality of a meal, the clarity of
a diamond or the excellence of last night's nookie, but as Pirsig might put
it, no microscope nor any other scientific instruments (extensions of the
senses) will ever detect morals. In order to determine the social and
intellectual quality in our world requires a 'sense of value' that goes
beyond the sense organs. The author insists this 'sense of value' is alien
to NO creature. Even particles have some 'sense of value', as demonstrated
in the preferences they express. And good ideas are not judged by the
literal eye either.
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