...If to "know" has two meanings, one Dynamic context and one Static, then it would be important to elaborate apon this and clarify it. If "pre-conceptual" is taken to mean "before understanding" then we must be careful how we use it and not to pose a contrary position by essentially making the claim that we can posess an understanding before understanding.
Elaborate and clarify? It's almost hard to believe that anyone is still confused about this.
Yes, pre-conceptual means prior to concepts. DQ is pre-conceptual experience. Experience is something you "know" in the sense that you go through it, you suffer or enjoy it. It happens to you and so of course you know it. Hopefully you know what it's like to be you from first hand experience. This is an intimate sort of thing.
Concepts, on the other hand, are products of reflective thought. This sort of verbal and conceptual knowledge is public and can be passed around, etc..
I don't really see the problem. Pirsig language seems as clear and plain as it can be. Like I said, I'm astonished at the level of confusion around this basic distinction. It seems kinda crazy. Seriously, please tell me if the distinction is clear or not. And if not, please explain why. Is Pirsig confusing when he says...
"Quality doesn't have to be defined. You understand it without definition, ahead of definition. Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions." "Quality is essentially outside definition"
"A metaphysics must be divisible, definable and knowable, or there isn't any metaphysics. ..metaphysics is essentially a kind of dialectical definition..."
That's all there is to it. Pre-conceptual and then conceptual. There are just two elements and the latter follows from the former. "Quality comes first, then you figure out why."
Let me first say this stems from a conversation I had recently in where the person I was speaking with asked
how it is that you can understand something prior to conception when to understand and to concieve are
essentially the same thing and I really had a hard time coming back with a sound explanation that did'nt sound
like I was playing semantics. I have to say that in response to the quote being clear about what is meant by
"Knowing", they really are not that clear, the first one addresses the intellectual level which involves the
manipulation of abstract symbols that have no corresponding experience which doesent apply to abstractions
that DO have a corresponding experience, Now Eric (the person I was talking to) a nuerologist, said that
he could see how drawing this distincion was useful but it was not very accurate in that it be reduced to the
term "pre-conceptual" because he states, "that is clearly not the case, one could'nt function at all without a
conceptual understanding of experience.".."we'd be meat with eyes".Saying that it would be best to say
pre-intellectual not pre-conceptual if thats what you are really saying is the distinction.