From: David Buchanan (DBuchanan@ClassicalRadio.org)
Date: Sun Apr 03 2005 - 01:00:41 BST
dmb had said:
"If emotions and egos were biological then we would be
able to detect them with scientific instruments, but
we can't, so they aren't. If you can show a picture of
an ego or of anger, or show it to me in a microscope
then I might buy it. This is why I think emotions have
to be categorized at the social level, at least."
Ever since Pirsig mentioned in LC that the President
of the United States can't be detected by any
scientific instrument and therefore has to be at the
social level (at least), the MOQ acolyte can now wheel
out this exciting test to categorize all kinds of
reality, as David has just done with ego and emotions.
Why the sarcastic hostility? Aren't we supposed to be talking about where
emotions fit into the MOQ? Is that not the elected question of month? So why
the mockery? If you want to make a case that "this exciting test" does not
work that's another thing altogether...
Let me try it out myself on something else. I had an
eye checkup yesterday. Can a scientific instrument
(currently) tell whether I am sighted or blind,
near-sighted or far-sighted? No, the latest technology
prescribes that I stand in front of an eye chart and
tell you what I can and can't see. Can I show you a
picture of vision or can I show you near-sightedness
under a microscope? Of course not. And by this
reasoning, vision must be categorized at the social
level (at least). I find this goofy myself but, with a
nod to Strawson, I suppose it's because I find myself
trapped in some dead theoretical framework.
Are you kidding? Are you denying that the medical sciences are based on
sensory data, on what we can see through microscopes and such? Sure, the eye
doctor will ask you what you're seeing during the examination and your
family doctor will ask how you're feeling and such. But that does not negate
the facts that doctors have instuments with which they can directly examine
your eyes and learn a great deal. My boy's had glasses since he was three.
In that case the examiner had to depend less on his help and more on the
objective readings. There was some pretty fancy stuff I hadn't seen before.
In any case, I think you are bending over backwards to deny a very obvious
thing; we can see eyeballs but we can's see emotions. Corneas, lenses and
retinas are detectable and measurable with scientific instruments while egos
are not. How is that simple assertion even debatable, let alone worthy of
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