Re: MF Re: March 2004 - Metaphysics and the mystical reality.

Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 17:13:12 BST

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    Hi Rick,

    Pirsig says that the MoQ's value is in providing a new central term for
    mysticism, a topic which he believes 'a scientifically oriented mind' would
    consider claptrap. I'm not sure why simply renaming a philosophical concept
    would convince anyone to reevaluate it (renaming 'creationism' as
    'intellegent design' didn't change my opinion the quality of that theory).

    Mark: 5-4-04: Mysticism is not conceptual, that is why many philosophers and
    scientists have a problem with it. Indeed, you are generating similar problems
    by placing the conceptual horse before the mystic cart, and this is
    One of the serious problems i find in these discussions is the nature of the
    discussion itself; if the discussion is conceptual, then there is no way we
    are going to progress.
    For this reason, and it is a rational decision, we should leave DQ well
    alone. As Pirsig himself suggests, we can discover a great deal about DQ by
    discovering what it is not.

    I think that scientist he's talking about would just say something like, "you
    can call it whatever you want but it's still just the same metaphysical

    Mark: 5-4-04: Experience is not claptrap. If a scientist wishes to define
    Quality, then let him/her do so.

    But I think Anthony gets right to the heart of the question when
    he writes....

    McWATT (from his textbook 2:3:5)
    "Firstly, the MOQ centres round the term 'Quality' (with a capital 'Q) which
    is used, interchangeably with 'Value'. 'Quality' is used to denote reality
    (by which Pirsig means the totality of what exists) in addition to its
    traditional context (i.e. as a synonym for excellence). In LILA, the term
    'Quality' is interchangeable with the term 'Dynamic Quality' when a mystic
    viewpoint is taken. This can be confusing at times though the understanding
    that Pirsig is alluding to can usually be understood in the context of the
    particular passage."

    ..I agree with Ant when he notes that Pirsig's use of Quality and dynamic
    quality as interchangeable 'in a mystic context' is confusing but I don't
    understand the second half of that sentence.

    Mark: 5-4-04: This goes back to which hat you are wearing, either your
    mystical or conceptual hat. The conceptual is inside the mystical, and if you mix
    them up you discover you cannot place the One inside the other.
    But don't ask me to explain the One because nobody can.
    The question i find interesting is how we move forward from this point? These
    discussions rather become caught up chasing a tail that will always be one
    step ahead of the chace.

    When dmb asks if the MoQ helps with the apparent distinction between the
    mystic and metaphysics, i would agree the answer is yes. This is because DQ is not
    conceptualised in the MoQ.

    It sounds as though he's conceding that Pirsig uses the terms inconsistently
    but that it's okay as long as one doesn't try and read it all together.

    Mark: 5-4-04: Or, one may wish to say, that in the conceptual realm of
    understanding, we are at an appropriately sophisticated level of perception as to
    choose not to extend concepts to the mystical realm of experience?

    All the best,

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