Re: MF Discussion Topic for January 2004

From: Sam Norton (
Date: Tue Jan 27 2004 - 12:28:13 GMT


    Hi all,

    My two pennies on this.

    I see Pirsig's 'sense of value' as including but not being limited to the
    five traditional senses.
    Using the baby's learning as a model, the baby first experiences
    undifferentiated Quality, and over
    time these experiences are segregated into different types, along the five
    traditional senses.
    However, it seems clear that these are a) experiences along a continuum
    (think of the phenomenon of
    synaesthesia) and b) that they are high quality derivatives from the primary
    sense of Quality. I
    like Jay's description, "when Persig illustrates a similarity between the
    five senses and the
    ability to discern quality, his intent was to establish that quality exists
    before, with and after
    all of our senses."

    I think Pirsig's language in the SODV is unclear, but the above seems most
    compatible with the MoQ
    as an intellectual structure. I agree with Matt that " It doesn't make sense
    at all to say that
    there is an additional, sixth sense for value _and_ all the other five
    senses are encapsulated by

    Interestingly, I see no reason why these five senses should be the only ones
    that we have. They are
    the senses which are appropriate for engaging with levels one and two of the
    MoQ. There must be
    senses which allow us to engage with the other levels. For example, a sense
    of beauty is not the
    same as a visual sense, but it is surely no less real (and equally
    distinguishable from the
    experience of undifferentiated Quality) than the sense of touch. This would
    ground out RMP's idea
    that morals are now on the basis of science (ie a sense of level 3 Quality).

    A note to Glenn: I think emotions are key to this sense of value, it's at
    the heart of my eudaimonic
    thesis, but RMP (and others) equate emotions with the biological level. I
    think that is a blind spot
    in their reasoning.

    One last thing - rather than 'flavorative' values, how about 'palatable'


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