MF Discussion Topic for February 2005

Date: Sun Feb 27 2005 - 15:36:35 GMT

  • Next message: Matt Kundert: "RE: MF Discussion Topic for February 2005"

    The most important element from the article that I wanted to have established reasonably swiftly was the point that "emotions are active, cognitive states for which we are responsible, rather than irrational, physiological feelings that overcome us against our will".

    Mark 27-02-05: The most important element from the TLS article is not the question Sam highlights. The philosphers and scientists writing behind the artilce are doing so from a SOM percpective. This is the most important point to highlight.

    "If Pirsig identifies emotion at the biological level, it won't work because it's too reductionistic"

    Mark 27-02-05: If emotions are sophisticated biological patterns of quality conditioned by social and intellectual patterns, it may be argued that emotion has a biological basis without resorting to reductionism.
    The important point to note here is 'conditioned' because people can be conditioned to emotionaly respond depending on how they are trained/nurtured (social and intellectual environment).
    The next question should be, 'what is the best way to train/nurture people?' This is what sophists concerned themselves with - Human quality.

    Nathan asked: "whether [I] can agree that emotion stems from motivation". I take this to correspond to the question of whether emotions are intentional (in the philosophical sense of 'intentional', ie they refer or are 'about some aspect of the world'). So my answer is definitely 'yes'.

    Mark 27-02-05: The phenomenological sense of the term 'intentional' is a non-dualistic sense. Experiences are conditioned relationships. Thus, we may wish to say that, 'the world is conditioned by us, and us by the world.'
    We are back to training/nurturing, which, as far as emotions are concerned, is the social and intellectual conditioning of biological patterns of static quality.

    Some specific points from Wim's post:
    I don't see the problem: Intellectual patterns of value don't need "access" to DQ, because they already embody static intellectual quality, which is (an embodiment from the point of view of other levels and a measure of) DQ.

    Mark 27-02-05: If this were so, nothing would evolve.

    Neither do patterns of value of the other levels. Taken together all static quality can be (contradictory) identified with DQ...

    Mark 27-02-05: You may be correct from a Dyanmic point of view, in which case we can stop this discussion right now. But as soon as the disagreements begin, off we go again.

    That's a point of view which I think is probably right, but it's not the
    view of Pirsig, as articulated by some of his defenders here. I'd be
    interested to hear what they say.

    Mark 27-02-05: The Buddha may agree with this, but philosophers may not. If we are having a conditioned discussion then we are going to deal with differentiations; that's what a metaphysics is. One of these differentiations is the MoQ, and from this point of view, all levels of sq evolve in response to DQ and aim towards DQ.
    So, well done Sam and Wim! Now are now 'get bogged down' in what this means rather than what emotions mean; precisely the tratedgy Sam wished to avoid i should have thought? Or perhaps getting bogged down is only getting bogged down when it is someone else doing it and not Sam?

    The idea that something should be primary to something else in the MoQ is for me a wrong extrapolation from irsig's argumentation n "Zen ...", 'Quality first, objects and subjects derived' (yes, also by himself). The MoQ as elaborated in "Lila" doesn't need DQ to be primary to sq or (some parts of) sq to be primary to DQ. DQ and sq are a contradictory identity.

    Mark 27-02-05: 'Complimentary' may be a better way of looking at it, especially in view of Wim's suggestion that, 'Taken together all static quality can be (contradictory) identified with DQ...'
    Quality has two complimetary aspects: DQ and sq. That's what the MoQ is all about, a metaphysics which is a contradiction in terms.
    We may choose to work with these complimentary aspects in an enquiery into emotions. Or not, as the case may be?

    The wrong turn in your argumentation above is where you talk about "biological manifestions of these emotions [at higher levels]". These manifestations are not "biological" in the MoQish sense of the word, as then don't affect the biological patterns of value, the patterns of value configured by DNA.

    Mark: 27-02-05: We are back to training/nurturing, which, as far as emotions are concerned, is the social and intellectual conditioning of biological patterns of static quality. Anyone for sophists?

    Does blushing have a biological pattern as part of its overall explanation? I would say yes, and it is to that element that I referred.

    Marl 27-02-05: One may be trained to stop blushing via social conditioning. This is a good example of emotion having a biological basis conditioned by social and intellectual patterns.

    Finally, Matt's point about discrete levels, which I think is a bit of a
    kicker. Let's remind ourselves of what Pirsig says:
    "...static patterns of value are divided into four systems: inorganic
    patterns, biological patterns, social patterns and intellectual patterns.
    They are exhaustive. That's all there are. If you construct an encyclopedia of four topics-Inorganic, Biological, Social and Intellectual--nothing is left out. No "thing," that is. Only Dynamic Quality, which cannot be described in any encyclopedia, is absent."

    Rushing ahead of much argument, it seems to me that emotion doesn't fit into any one of those four levels, but is transitive across them.

    Mark 27-02-05: We are back to training/nurturing, which, as far as emotions are concerned, is the social and intellectual conditioning of biological patterns of static quality.
    Replace 'transative' with 'coherence' and its counterpart, 'chaos' and we may be getting somewhere.

    Rather like
    'person' which is a 'forest' of static patterns, emotions seem to similarly evade a pigeonholing. Does this make it a 'platypus' in the MoQ?


    Mark 27-02-05: In the 'forest' of static patterns lurk some very ancient trees called biological herbiflorus. These trees have, over long evolutionary time, been shrouded in creeping vines called social herbiflorus, which live symbioticaly with their biological herbiflorus companions. From a distance, they appear to be one tree, but upon closer inspection, one may discerm many differences between each of them: some are less shrouded than others, and, what's this! Flowers! Bright, golden flowers strewen upon the social herbiflorus!
    Intellectual herbiflorus live symbioticaly upon the social herbiflorus and present a marvelous sight to many wanderers through this shady place. But, it would seem, YOU only see THEM, if you ARE them.


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