RE: MF Discussion Topic for September 2004

From: Glenn Bradford (
Date: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 01:32:45 BST

  • Next message: Sam Norton: "Re: MF CALL FOR TOPICS"

    Hi DMB,
    I'd just like to refute a few things Pirsig says in
    chapter twelve and ask you a follow-up question. I'll
    be brief.

    Pirsig says:
    1) "There is no direct scientific connection between
    mind and matter."

    There is a direct scientific connection. Magnetic
    resonance imaging shows that a person's brain changes
    when his mind thinks about something different (say,
    by flashing images of idyllic pastoral scenes followed
    by graphic scenes of war).

    Pirsig says:
    2) "The world of objects imposes itself upon the mind
    with no social mediation whatsoever... But a close
    examination shows it isn't so."

    Actually, a simple example shows it *is* so. A cat has
    a mind and isn't socializable, yet the world of
    objects imposes itself on the cat because it can see
    objects and manouvre around objects and chase objects
    with no problem.
    Pirsig says:
    3) "Our intellectual descriptions of nature are always
    culturally derived."

    This is true, but only in the obvious sense that ideas
    build upon one another like Schliemann's strata. The
    underlying aim of this statement, however, is to
    expose the "myth of objectivity", and this is
    unconvincing. Whose to say that, given enough time,
    isolated cultures that remain independent won't
    eventually reach the same intellectual descriptions of
    nature that the West has reached.

    David, you seem to agree with the sentiment that
    objectivity is a myth even though you said later in
    the same post that "we can't deviate from the true Tao
    even if we want to" and some other mumbo-jumbo about
    "the principle of rightness, the Quality that holds
    the world together". Wilber chimes in with
    "[worldviews] are actually CONSTRAINED by the currents
    of the Kosmos". Apparently scientists are not privy to
    such wonderfulness as Tao trueness, Quality glue, and
    Kosmos currents and must accept a second rate kind of
    truth that depends on the acceptance of their culture.
    Please explain.

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