Re: MF Discussion Topic for May 2005 - individual worth

From: Matt Kundert (
Date: Sun May 29 2005 - 03:22:36 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MF Discussion Topic for May 2005 - individual worth"

    Mark said:
    The experience of Dynamic Quality is the same for everyone, it is only the
    experiences and objects which are mentally associated with the experience
    which are different. There is no difference in the liking when the liking is
    independent of the things liked. Dynamic Quality is universal. No-one says
    that his liking for beans is any different to someone else's liking for
    carrots independently of the beans and carrots involved.

    No one says that their "liking" for beans is any different than someone
    else's "liking" for carrots, independently of the beans and carrots, because
    it would be an absurd thing to say. Who cares if "liking" and "valuing" is
    the same for everyone? That's the most trivial thing you could possibly
    say. If that's all the "universality of Dynamic Quality" amounts to, then
    it pretty much amounts to the fact that we all use the words "liking" and
    "valuing" and their synonyms in the same way. Because the only way we could
    know if we were all experiencing the same thing, yet independent of the
    experience itself (boy, that doesn't sound very Pirsigian, does it?), would
    be to say, "Hey, I like beans!" "Oh my god, I like carrots!" "Really?
    Hmm. Well, we both seem to enjoy these separate experiences in basically
    the same way. The lowest common denominator of our experiences must be

    The point is that nothing much (let alone anything philosophically
    interesting) follows from the fact that we all "value," that we all
    experience some things as better than others. If we take Pirsig as simply
    forwarding that thesis, then we've severely hampered Pirsig's philosophical
    impact. If anything, Pirsig pointing out the obvious, innocuous fact that
    we all value some things over others is simply a softening up move to shake
    a few dunder heads out of their sleep. I stress "a few." The really
    interesting things happen after that in an argument that has to be a lot
    more subtle and complex than saying, "Hey, don't you like Guinness better
    than Bud Light? That's just like me liking Cezanne over Warhol!"


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