Re: MF Discussion Topic for February 2004

From: Valence (
Date: Sat Feb 07 2004 - 19:36:33 GMT

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MF Discussion Topic for February 2004"

    Hey Wim, Bo and all,

    As last month's moderator it was my job to reformulate this question in the yes/no format before I
    announced it. I forgot to, so please forgive me. The purpose of the yes/no format question was
    (among other things) to make sure the question was phrased in such a way that all members could
    easily determine what exactly it is they're supposed to be talking about and what question they're
    supposed to be exploring and ultimately trying to answer. That is, it was supposed to avoid exactly
    what (I think) is happening in this topic...

    > I formulated it as:
    > 'Is it THE MoQ we are discussing (i.e. as meant by Pirsig) or are we (should
    > we be) discussing the merits of our various versions (with Pirsig's writings
    > expressing only one version or even a version that develops in time)?'

    If I'm interpreting the paratheticals correctly, then on its face, Wim's question seems to ask
    whether we are/should be discussing: (1) Pirsig's vision of the MoQ or (2) our own visions of the
    MoQ or (3) an evolving, commonly developed vision of the MoQ. To this I would answer all three, but
    then Wim says...

    > This is NOT meant as merely a suggestion for a rule that should guide our
    > behaviour on this list (and MD)....

    > Please understand it primarily as a discussion about the nature of the MoQ.

    That's where you lose me Wim. Are you asking whether the MoQ states whether or not we are or should
    be discussing Pirsig's MoQ or our own MoQ? That formulation seems problematic. In fact, from the
    following quote, it
    appears to me that what you really wanted to ask was if the MoQ is an intellectual pattern...

    > The starting point, on which we all agree (I guess except Bodvar) could be
    > that the MoQ is an intellectual pattern of value.
    > They way we understand the MoQ should fit our definition of an intellectual
    > pattern of value.
    > It does seem to fit Pirsig's definition (from 'Lila's Child'):
    > Pirsig there defines 'the intellectual level' as 'the collection and
    > manipulation of symbols, created in the brain, that stand for patterns of
    > experience'.
    > A definition of an intellectual pattern of value derived from Pirsig's
    > definition of 'the intellectual level' could be:
    > 'a pattern of symbols created in the brain that stand for patterns of
    > experience'.
    > It also fits my favourite definition of intellectual patterns of value (that
    > doesn't -in my opinion- contradict Pirsig's one) as patterns of value that
    > are maintained by copying of 'reasons for' (behaviour, natural phenomena,
    > whatever) other patterns of experience.
    > So, please don't merely give an opinion on whether the MoQ we are discussing
    > is merely the result of Pirsig's activities or of our collective activities.

    But this last sentence is almost precisely the question you asked. Am I wrong Wim? Should the
    question be rephrased as: Is the MoQ an intellectual pattern? That seems to be the issue you're
    putting your weight down in the above argument. You even make specific reference to Bo, who is
    famous for being a dissenter on the idea of the MoQ as an intellectual pattern. Then you invite him
    to argue that issue...

    > Bodvar (and any others who think that the MoQ belongs to a fifth level)
    > could alternatively argue from a description of how he knows (for lack of
    > definability of a fifth level pattern of value) that the MoQ is a fifth
    > level pattern of value and then tell us how that knowledge leads him to his
    > opinion.

    What do you think Wim? Others?

    take care

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